You can thank me now, because I know this Chicken Persimmon Salad with #Thai Style dressing is going to become a favourite. It’s spicy and just like Som Tum but with the sweet crunchy texture of Persimmon
Persimmons are still a bit of an unusual fruit here in Australia. We haven’t fully cottoned onto them despite the crop in Australia and New Zealand growing rapidly . You’ve probably seen them in the supermarket between February and June and wondered what they are and how you are supposed to eat them.
I am going to go out on a limb here and tell you that if you try them you are really going to be surprised. They’re crunchy and sweet and very versatile whether you eat them like and apple or use them in salads and cooking.
Persimmons are native to China, but the explorer Marco Polo began to trade them in the early 14th century. It spread to Korea and Japan and later to the Mediterranean coast of France, Italy and Algeria. They were later introduced in California and Australia in the mid-1800s.
There are two types of Persimmon. I like to differentiate them by calling one of them the mushy yucky kind and the other the most sweet, crunchy lovely fruit of winter. This in fact maybe a reason Persimmons have been slow to become a real commercially viable crop here- lots of people do not like the yukky (or astringent) kind. These have given persimmons a bad name and hand braked there style.
China is still the worlds biggest producer and people in Japan and Korea can’t get enough of both kinds. They froth for them in Europe and Italy is one of Europe biggest producers! Queensland is the biggest producer of persimmons in Australia, followed by New South Wales. Production occurs in coastal NSW, the Goulburn and Murray valleys in Vic and SA and south east WA too. So obviously production is growing and I advise that you get on board the Persimmon train Australia produces approximately 2500 tonnes annually, less than 1% of world production
Australia produces approximately 2500 tonnes Persimmons annually, that’s less than 1% of world production
Cut them up for later- they never go brown
The bonus of eating Persimmons is they never brown when cut. They really do make a great fruit to pop into fruit salads and desserts. It’s also not hard to find ways to use them with savoury ingredients too. The Chicken Persimmon Salad and the Persimmon Cheese recipe below are good examples.
- 500 gm chicken breasts
- 20 ml fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon ginger very finely grated
- 80 ml oil
Som Tum Style Salad
- 1 whole persimmon sliced
- 200 gm Cherry Tomatoes roughly chopped, juice reserved
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 60 gm Palm sugar the light coloured crushed, 1/3 cup
- 40 ml boiling water 2 Tablespoons
- 2 whole coriander roots cleaned and chopped (and also the stems)
- 1 whole red chilli chopped, or to taste
- 60 ml lemon or lime juice ¼ cup
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce 10
- 100 gm Spanish onion shredded very fine
- 100 gm Lebanese Cucumber sliced finely
- 30 gm peanuts crushed dry roasted
- To marinate the chicken put the first amount of fish sauce, oil and ginger in a bowl and combine. Add the chicken breasts and turn over in the mixture. Wash hands and let sit.
- Put the crushed palm sugar and boiling water in a bowl and set aside to cool ( if it doesn't melt I like to give it 30 seconds in the microwave)
- To make the salad and dressing. Put the coriander, chilli, lemon juice, sugar and water, fish sauce, garlic in the food processor (or pestle and mortar) and process till fine. Pour into a medium sized bowl. Add the chopped tomatoes, Spanish onion and cucumber to the bowl.
- Then add the very finely sliced persimmon. I cut into quarters and then slice
- Toss well.
- Heat a fry pan till hot then add the chicken seal then turn down to medium and cook the chicken for approximately 10 minutes or till just cooked through. (test the thickest part of the breast . ( better still let it rest loosely covered with foil for 5-8 minutes)
- Slice and serve with the Som Tum Persimmon salad
- Sprinkle with peanuts and mix in extra coriander leaves and stems.
- Serve this with steamed rice or noodles
Try these great recipes too.