I grew up in the Philippines where a lot of vegetables were called differently from what they use here in the States. A good example is turnip. My turnip, or singkamas, has a tough brown skin and a white, watery, and almost translucent flesh inside that you eat with shrimp paste or vinegar and fish sauce during the summer months. Here in New York, that’s the same as the Mexican jícama while the turnip has a thinner skin that’s white at the bottom and purple towards the top and it has a slight bitter taste perfect for raw salads.
For some of you, the American turnip might be too bitter here and that’s why I decided to add honeydew for a slight tinge of sweetness and a different texture. Cantaloupes should be okay too and would be a good addition if you use both turnips and jícama. The portions below made a perfect appetizer for two people.
1/4 lb cooked shrimp, deveined, peeled
2 small to medium-sized radishes, thinly sliced
1 small turnip, peeled, thinly sliced
half a honeydew, the flesh thinly sliced
1 stalk of scallions, diagonally sliced
For the dressing:
ginger knob, peeled, crushed
a splash of fish sauce
juice from 1 lemon
red chili flakes
1. In a large glass bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients. Toss in the shrimp and chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
2. When ready to assemble the salad, remove the shrimp from the fridge and add the vegetables and fruit. Toss until well combined. Add more olive oil if necessary.