These nutritious, flavour-packed salads champion Asian ingredients, from fiery chilli to the satisfying crunch of noodles and cabbage. Perfect for dishing up and serving for Chinese New Year on Saturday 10th February.

Pears with bitter leaves and goat’s cheese


Golden, pan-fried pears team with mildly bitter leaves and tangy goat’s cheese for a balanced and sumptuous salad.

2 large pears, cored and peeled

Extra-virgin olive oil

2 handfuls of baby rocket or spinach leaves (or a combination)

1 small radicchio, trimmed and leaves separated

60g goat’s cheese, crumbled

1 green onion, finely sliced

Sea salt and black pepper

For the vinaigrette

1 shallot, finely chopped

Zest and juice of ½ lemon, plus extra if needed

2-3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1tsp Dijon mustard

1tsp maple syrup

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Cut each pear into 12–16 wedges, depending on the size of your fruit. Heat a frying pan over high heat and drizzle with oil. Working in batches, place the pear wedges in the pan in a single layer and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden and tendercrisp.
  2. Remove and set aside. For the shallot–lemon vinaigrette, whisk together the shallot, lemon zest and juice and 1tbsp of water in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil, then add the mustard, maple syrup and garlic. Season well with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. To assemble, place the salad leaves and radicchio on a large plate, top with the pear wedges and scatter with goat’s cheese. Drizzle over the vinaigrette and season with sea salt and black pepper. Gently toss together, then finish with a scattering of green onion and serve.

Dumpling salad


This recipe is great on days when you are craving something satisfying for dinner, but feel like you should opt for something more green and healthy. It’s the best of both worlds.

20-25 of your favourite dumplings

4 big handfuls of salad leaves, baby spinach or microgreens

2 cucumbers, trimmed and very finely sliced

225g cherry tomatoes, halved

Handful of coriander leaves

1 spring onion, finely sliced

1 long red or green chilli, seeds removed and finely sliced

Sea salt and black pepper

Coriander leaves, to taste

  1. Prepare the dumplings by steaming or pan-frying them. Arrange the salad leaves on a large serving plate or platter.
  2. Place the warm dumplings on top and scatter over the cucumber, tomato, coriander leaves, spring onions and chilli.
  3. Season with sea salt and black pepper, drizzle with your chosen dressing or sauce.

Cucumber and cabbage noodle salad with black bean sauce


This salad is fresh and light, with a strong umami note from the black bean sauce. The contrast of slippery noodles teamed with crispy cabbage is a familiar pairing in Asian salad making and adds a gorgeous texture.

4 cucumbers, trimmed

300g thick rice noodles

½ small green cabbage , finely sliced

3tbsp black bean sauce

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

Extra-virgin olive oil

½ lime

2 spring onions, finely sliced

Handful of chopped coriander leaves

75g roasted cashews, roughly chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, partially skin the cucumbers with vertical stripes . Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds, and the n slice the cucumbers diagonally.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the rice noodles and cook according to the packet instructions until the noodles are just soft, about 6–7 minutes.
  3. Drain immediately and refresh under cold running water. Place the noodles in a large bowl and add the cucumber, cabbage, black bean sauce, sesame oil and 2–3 tablespoons of olive oil. Squeeze over the lime juice, add half the spring onions and herbs, and toss to coat everything thoroughly.
  4. Taste and season well with sea salt and black pepper and drizzle with more olive oil, if needed, to loosen up the noodles. Top with the cashews and remaining spring onions and herbs and serve.

To Asia With Love by Hetty McKinnon, £26, Prestel. All images are © Hetty McKinnon.