Super light, zesty and delicious for our warm spring and summer evenings.
I fear that i may be killing you with gadgets (waffle irons and now spiralisers)! I blame my first food mentor and good friend Jan Pinkney a connoisseur, researcher and user of great gadgets, I confess to being easily led though! My intention in my culinary life was to be a good plain knife chef, but at a point I gave in to the temptation and am now fully gadgetised. This said that they are not necessary, just toys, food and cooking enablers and enhancers for those of us like myself who, are very happy playing in the kitchen. These noodles can easily be coarsely grated or peeled in strips using your usual kitchen peeler, the flavours will still be zesty and delicious.
This recipe lends itself to adaptations depending on what vegetables you have to hand and, if you plan to serve it with fish, chicken, meat or vego, or have it as is as a simple and satisfying meal. The dressing will keep for a week or so in the fridge.
I often blend together ginger lemongrass kaffir lime leaves and chilli and freeze it in small wraps of clingfilm for dressings like this or as a base for my Thia’ish soups and salads, this way I make sure I use these ingredients when they are at there best price and quality.
Thai Salad Dressing
- 165 ml tin coconut milk
- 100ml lime juice
- 50 ml fish sauce
- Small knob fresh turmeric(approx 15 grams) or 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- Large knob of ginger (50 grams or more)
- 1/2 stalk lemongrass
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- Optional clove of garlic
Chop dry ingredients roughly and blend in food processor or high speed blender.
I have used a good quality commercial lime juice in my dressing and dont think it has lost anything, but you could replace it with the real deal or lemon juice and it would be even better! You could also replace the fish sauce with soy sauce, tamari or any of the soy alternatives for a vegan version. The reason for the fish sauce is a salty umami flavour base, so play with this as you like. It is interesting to note that the benefits of turmeric are enhanced by the presence of pepper and fat (in the coconut milk) so add to the delicious benefits of this salad
- 2 medium Orange Kumera or sweet potato (approx 500grams)
- 2 sweet/tart apples (depends on the season)
- 1 bunch kale shredded, baby kale, cabbage shredded or lettuce
- good handful of your favourite fresh herbs corriander,mint,vietnamese mint
- Optional Ingredients
- Spicey roast peanuts
- Crisp asian shallots
- 2 spring onions finely sliced
- finely sliced red capsicum
- mung bean shoots
- crunchy vegetables of your choosing
In a large bowl pour 2/3s of your dressing. The dressing will taste really strong but this gets diluted through the salad
If you are using sturdy kale it needs massaging and I add this now now and spend a couple of minutes massaging the dressing through until kale has broken down a bit and softened. This makes the kale both taste great is easier to digest and is a great way of carrying the flavour of the dressing through the salad (a good tip for all kale salads)
If you arent using the sturdy kale skip straight to spiralising your kumera or sweet potato and apple and adding to the dressing and once again mix well into your dressing.
Now you can continue and finish adding ingredients (except lettuce, leave that till you are ready to serve) your salad will hold for a day even two, I think the flavours improve with age, even the peanuts soften and take on all the flavours.
Dont forget to taste as always, and add more dressing as you like. Or if using meats or tofu you can pour over or marinate in the remaining dressing. The dressing if any is left will be delicious in your next budda bowl or salad.
I need to thank to George for the feature image, my photography is slowly getting better under Eds and Georges tutelage, though I confess to being a poor student, always in too much of a hurry to reach the end goal and eat. It is lucky they are both patient and persistent.
I have eaten this salad quite a number of times over the past couple of weeks in the process of preparing this blog post. Eaten with prawns, beef, poached eggs?!!family dinner and plain from the bowl I have enjoyed it everytime. Ed and George seemed pretty happy too! I hope you will give it a try, share it and enjoy it and as much as we have.