I love Thai food. I may even go so far as to say that the flavors in Thai cuisine rank among my favorite combinations. Despite this, my Thai repertoire is relatively limited at home. I have finally mastered a red curry, a chili-garlic stir-fry, and I can make an adequate pad-thai. All of these dishes come from the fantastic Simply Thai Cooking by Wandee Young. I just haven’t felt comfortable improvising with these ingredients in the past.
Then a few nights ago I had a craving for a salad that we used to get at Pukk in New York – a vegetarian version of crispy duck salad (don’t ask me about fake meat, I usually hate it, but Pukk does a great job with Seitan, their food is addictive). So, I decided to scour the web and see what I could find. Lots! I ended up synthesizing 4 different recipes and came up with a dressing that I’m really happy with! (It helps that there are such beautiful veggies in the markets right now, and all the herbs that I needed.) So, here it is, my first self-created Thai recipe. This is the veggie version, without a lot of protein. You can top it up with sliced smoked tofu or additional peanuts or cashews, or smoked duck breast (as we did), shredded chicken breast or even sauteed pork if you crave some meat.
Thai Rice Salad – 4 servings
- 1 c brown
- 2 c water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3/8 cup lime juice (~3)
- 1 ½ Tbs honey
- 1 ½ Tbs fish sauce
- 2 tsp chili paste
- 2 inch ginger, half julienned, half grated
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 2 small chilies (I don’t know what kind I used, they were hot)
- ½ red bell pepper, sliced
- ½ c julienned carrot
- 1 cucumber, seeded & chopped
- ½ c chopped tomatoes
- 2-3 green onions
- ¼ c basil
- ½ c mint
- 1 c cilantro
- 1 handful arugala, chopped
- ¼ c peanuts
- Cook the rice in water with salt and set aside.
- Meanwhile, juice the limes, add honey, fish sauce, chili paste, grated ginger, garlic, and sliced lemongrass. Carefully seed and devein the chilies and add to the other dressing ingredients. Blend until smooth and add half to the rice, reserving the rest. Set the rice to chill.
- Slice bell pepper thinly, julienne the carrots, seed and chop the cucumber, chop the tomatoes and green onions and mix all veggies in a large bowl. Measure, rinse and coarsely chop the herbs and add to the veggies. Repeat with the arugula. Mix the veggies together with the remaining dressing.
- Mix the rice and the vegetables and chill until ready to serve.
- Chop the peanuts for garnish and serve when chilled through.
OMG!! This is delicious. Very fresh tasting, and a great pairing with the Thai Grilled Chicken I made (Bobby Flay). I used Basmati rice but it would be delicious with brown rice too!
Thanks, Kathy! I’m glad you enjoyed it.