I made this crunchy Thai salad today for a friend from the Philippines and she immediately asked for the recipe.
Luckily I had written down everything I used in both the dressing and the salad as I wanted to add it to this website. If I am not going to write about it, I tend to just add things as I go along. I keep on tasting and adding until I am satisfied.
I am adding sesame oil to the dressing - a really tasty and mild sesame oil though. Until recently, I have only come across sesame oils with a very strong taste and a tendency to take over the whole show. The kind of sesame oil you mostly find in a supermarket.
I suppose it is with sesame oils as with everything else – like with wine and olive oils for example - there are your less expensive varieties and those with a bit more refinement.
The one I am using now is an organic, unrefined, first cold pressing sesame oil. Sounds expensive, doesn’t it - a bit posh? But it is less expensive than any olive oil I have ever bought. And the taste is sublime.
Look out for this kind of sesame oil in delicatessens, health food shops or shops specialising in Asian food.
I am using a tablespoon of this mild sesame oil. If you have got sesame oil with a very strong taste, you might be better off just using one teaspoon of this and adding a tablespoon of coconut oil or vegetable oil as well to the dressing.
Crunchy Thai Salad:
For the dressing:
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon mild sesame oil (see above)
1½ tablespoon Tamari soy sauce (gluten-free) – or use light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed/minced
2 teaspoons honey
For the salad:
Half a small pointed cabbage (hispi/sweetheart) – finely shredded
2 medium-sized carrots – coarsely grated
½ cucumber – halved and finely sliced
1 large red pepper (bell pepper) – I buy the pointed variety – finely sliced
2-3 spring onions (scallions) - sliced
A large handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks – coarsely chopped
A small handful of fresh mint leaves – roughly chopped
A large red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced (optional – the dressing has got enough attitude to not need the chilli in my opinion, but this is Thai food!)
Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing. Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl and pour over the dressing. Mix the salad well and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes - the flavours will intensify if you leave it for longer. Toss before serving.
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