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This Turkish Cuisine video shows you how to make a Tabuli, or Bulgur Salad.
Tags:How to Make Tabuli Salad,bulgur recipe,bulgur salad,cooking lessons,cooking tips,kitchen skills,tabbouleh salad,tabouli salad,tabuli salad,turkish cuisine
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How to Make Tabuli Salad
Welcome back. Now, it’s time to make tabuli salad. But before we make our salad, our rice is almost done cooking. So, what we want to do right now is just add in our frozen peas. You just want to sprinkle it on top and maybe just fork it in. Now, by the time you put in the peas, they may have been defrosted which it’s fine, it’s not like you have to put them in frozen so that just means it will cook up much faster.
I’m just going to let that cook for about five minutes and then we’re going to place the paper towel on top and let it steam. So, we’ll wait for that before we turn it off. Now to make our tabuli salad we’re going to need half a cut of the fine bulgur, a bunch of scallions finely chopped, three tomatoes chopped, some salt, some mint and two bunches of parsley finely chopped. For our dressing, we also need two squeeze lemons, some extra virgin olive oil and salt.
Now first, in order to make our tabuli salad, we need to wet the fine bulgur. Now, some recipes call for you to wet it with lukewarm water about a cap and then what you do is you let it soaked for about 20 minutes and squeeze all the water out but a little trick I use at home and for me makes the taste much, much better, I like to just pour some squeezed lemon juice on it. I just pour that in and let that soak. And then once I’m done with that, you squeeze out all the excess and then pour it in.
Now some restaurants, when you go to them, they put a lot of the fine bulgur. I find in the tabuli salad, it’s more of the salad with the bulgur, not the bulgur with the salad because then it’s kind of like Kisir which is another type of appetizer where you use a lot of the fine bulgur. So, here’s more of like a salad that’s why I like to use only half a cup but again there’s so many different variations on it. This is just the way that I am accustomed to eating it and I just feel that if you try it, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
So, with the tabuli salad, you’re also going to make sure that everything is finely chopped. So, you see I already chopped my parsley. Now, this is two bunches of parsley and I know it doesn’t look like it but after you take out the stems and chop them really finely, they shrink and then this is about what you get which over here is about maybe two to three cups.
So, what we’re going to do is add in our tomatoes then we can add the scallions. Now for the scallions, I use one bunch and I don’t use regular onions. I feel that this gives it a really great texture but if you like regular onions, you can add it too, that’s okay. And another thing I like to do with the tabuli salad which also a lot of people don’t do is I like to add romaine lettuce. Now, romaine lettuce is a staple with tabuli as a garnish. Many times people take the romaine lettuce, put a little tabuli in it, eat it almost like a lettuce wrap but what I like to do is kind of chop up a few pieces and just add it to the salad. Now, a lot traditional tabuli won’t have anything. This is my recipe and this is how I do it in my home because sometimes it’s too much of a parsley taste for me. So, what I like to do is I just take some crispy lettuce and throw it in there. This way it cuts the taste of the parsley, adds great color and even adds a little bit of crunch. And who does not like crunch? I mean anything crunchy, it’s tasty. You can even have it as a snack.
Now, some people eat tabuli as a main dish like many vegetarians, this is a favorite. This is popular among most of the middle eastern countries but it’s very popular in Turkey as well. Among vegetarians it goes great with mean ontrays and it’s an easy salad without using regular lettuce and it just gives it a little bit of the variety so I like to just take the romaine lettuce. Now again, this is not in the traditional recipe. This is just the one that we’re accustomed to in my house, the way my husband loves it, the way my brother loves it. My brother is not a big fun of parsley but if we put the romaine lettuce in it then he’ll eat it because it’s actually very mouthwatering. And the reason I put lemon juice in the fine bulgur is because I don’t know if you guys are used to my cooking or not but I like everything really lemony and really sour. And when the lemon juice gets in the bulgur, it gives the whole salad a really great sourly taste. And you’ll see what I’m talking about. But if you’re not prone to sourness or lemon juice, that’s okay. You could just put one cup of lukewarm water, let it sit for about 20 minutes and then you want to squeeze all the excess water out. So, we’re letting this soaked here, this has been like what five minutes.
You could already see that it’s gotten really thick and it’s not too juicy so you don’t have to squeeze too much out of it. Now, when you’re buying the bulgur, make sure you get the fine one. You know what I’m going to do first, let me just place a paper towel, turn this off because I think the peas are about cooked and I'm going to let it steam up and that steam is going to continue cooking the peas without letting them get really mushy which we don’t want the mushy piece. So, like I was saying about the bulgur, you have to get the fine one because the thicker ones are more for rice.
Now, bulgur is the type of cracked wheat. It’s made in substitution for our rice dishes like long time ago when people couldn’t afford rice, they used to use bulgur. It was a great way to add as a side dish for many meat ontrays and nowadays people are really eating a lot of bulgur because it’s so healthy, the whole thing with the whole wheat and staying away from floury or starchy items, it’s just really up and coming. So, you want the fine bulgur. Remember, there are three different types, the fine, the middle and the thicker one. And the thicker one is great for the rice, finer one always for salads. So, remember that, always for salads or appetizers like the appetizers I was talking before, the Kisir, that’s also you need the fine bulgur with that because you just want a little bit to taste.
Now, sometimes when you go to the restaurant, you get tabuli, it’s all bulgur and it’s not like supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a salad. So, I like it when it looks more green with just a little bit of bulgur. So now, I’m just going to make my dressing. And the dressing is also really easy and delicious. What you need to do is just have some lemon juice freshly squeezed, extra virgin olive oil because we always need extra virgin in any salad, always extra virgin that gives it a great flavor. This is about let’s do it three tablespoons, right. Just eyeball it and you want to do the equal amount of olive oil. So, if you have three tablespoons of lemon, three tablespoons of olive oil. So, if you wanted two tablespoons but always just equal amount, that’s how I do it. If you don’t want it so oily, you could do a little less oil but the lemon is where the flavor comes in.
Now, we could add the salt but because my ontray is not ready yet, I’m just going to leave it like this because when you add the salt right away, it kills the parsley like dice and it withers up and we don’t want that. So, what you can do is just add your mints. Now, we want about a teaspoon of mint, really gives it a great flavor and just kind of we can mix this up and pour it in. Now, if you leave out the salt, this is great all day. You could just put it in the fridge just like this and right before people come over or your husband comes home from work then add the salt. Add the salt and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Now, this is great when it’s choosy so the more dressing you add the better, my opinion. Plus the fact that bulgur is going to soak up some of the dressing too and by the end of the day you don’t want it to be dry so taste it. If it’s a little dry, make more dressing, it’s really easy and healthy. And add it later on in the day. Just make sure you add it in right before you serve.
So now, we’re going to use the rest of our romaine lettuce to garnish because like I said before, people use it as a garnish and they also use it to scoop up the salad and kind of eat it like a lettuce wrap and some people eat this as an appetizer or it’s even great as an ontray and the romaine lettuce makes it really nice and crispy. Now, you don’t have to add the Romaine lettuce, remember, this is just my recipe. So many different variations of it but when you taste this tabuli, you’re going to love it and you’re going to see what I’m talking about, about that sourness.