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FEATURE: Cooking Local Thai Style Salad

November 05, 2010

Cooking Local in the KOHO Kitchen
Thai Style (Raw-ish) Salad

By Isaac Kaplan-Woolner

    This week I’m seeking something fresh and healthy to counteract fall’s comfort food cravings. My favorite vegetarian, vegan, or raw recipes tend to be those that come from food traditions that naturally make little use of meat, instead of dishes that try to make crazy faux meat or dairy substitutions.


I find dishes like this Thai inspired salad to be so full of exotic flavor that it really doesn’t need meat. But baked tofu or grilled chicken would make a very nice addition, though it would negate a strictly raw recipe. The fish sauce is optional for vegetarians, but it has a definitely irreplaceable authentic flavor. It is fermented, not cooked, so I believe it is ok for raw foodists. I hope you enjoy!



Salad Ingredients:

-1 medium jicama root, peeled and grated or sliced into very fine matchsticks
-1 small head of green or Napa cabbage, root end removed, shredded thin
-3 green onions, root removed, sliced very small
-1/2 bunch fresh cilantro (aka coriander leaves), rinsed and chopped fine. Make use of leaves and stems.
-about ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves (use Thai purple basil if you’ve got it), mint leaves would be nice as an optional alternative
-1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
-1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced
-a handful of cherry tomatoes, split in half
-1 cup mung bean sprouts
-1 carrot, grated or julienned
-2 sticks of celery, sliced thin on the diagonal

Thai Peanut Dressing:

-2 tablespoons rice wine or apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon soy sauce
-1 tablespoon fish sauce
-juice of one lime
-1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
-about 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
-1 clove of fresh garlic, peeled and minced
-1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
-about 3 tablespoons hot water (it will help melt the peanut butter)
-1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
-1 teaspoon sriracha hot chili sauce

    To assemble salad, arrange cabbage and jicama in a wide bowl and toss with sliced veggies, herbs, bean sprouts and chopped peanuts. Blend together all the dressing ingredients in a food processor, or use a hand blender to mix until creamy.
    Pour the dressing over the Thai salad a little at a time. You can always add more, but you can’t add less!