A good tabbouleh salad is probably up there with my fave salads of all time. It works brilliantly alongside almost any BBQ or at any picnic, and is a wonderful addition to a mezze platter.
It's one of those brilliant salads that is so much more than the sum of it's parts. Zesty, full of flavour, bursting with herbs. It is salads that is really essential to have in your repertoire. Not only that, it is dead easy, and gets better the longer you leave it, perfect for making ahead for a large group of mouths to feed.
So imagine my dismay on a day not so very long ago, when I had dutifully chopped the parsley and soaked the bulghar wheat, ready to mix up into a tangy wonderful salad to serve to a bunch of guests whose arrival was immenent and I realised I was out of lemons.
Yes. I had used up the last of the lemons, and there was just no time to head out to get some more.
Then, I remembered that we had been trialling a delicious, yet traditional, Japanese condiment called Ume Plum vinegar. Umeboshi plums are sour and tangy, and are much prixed in Japan where they are pickled, and used to add a little zip and zing to rice dishes, especially those rice balls that children and workers take for their lunches. The vinegar that the Umeboshi plums are pickled in has a lovely soft pink colour, and a gentle sour tang, and is often used to season rice, or in salads.
In Salads! AHA! I thought. I'll use some Ume Seasoning!
My Tabbouleh was saved. That tang of lemon was replaced with an ever so slightly different and slightly saltier Ume seasoning which worked just as well, and made me wonder what other lemony savoury flavours that it might be substituted for. I'm sure we'll come up with some.
In the meantime, here's my not- so- traditional Tabbouleh Salad. Feel free to use lemons too. It's delicious either way!
Tabbouleh with a Japanese Twist
- 100 g bulgur wheat
- 10-15 cherry tomatoes chopped
- 5 spring onions
- 1 large handful flat leaf parsley A very large handful!
- 1 Tbs olive oil extra virgin
- 1-2 Tbs Ume Plum Seasoning OR
- ½ a lemon's juice
- In a pan, just cover the bulgur wheat with boiling water. Put a lid on the pan and leave it there to steam.
- Finely chop the parsley and spring onions.
- Add the olive oil, Ume Plum Seasoning OR lemon juice to the steamed bulgur wheat.
- Add the parsley & chopped tomatoes & spring onions and mix thoroughly.
- Add salt to taste and add moreolive oil or Ume seasoning (or lemon juice) , tasting as you go to check that the salad is tangy and delicious.