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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thai Cucumber Salad

thai cucumber salad


Before my trip, D and I were trying to eat healthy by eating up the lettuce in our garden that got out of hand growing like weed and daring us to keep up the harvesting. So, I was looking for interesting ways to consume the bounty and this salad caught my attention in one of my Thai cook books (will add a link when available).

The idea is to marinate the cucumber, red onions, tomatoes and baby corn in a simple vinaigrette. This can be eaten as-is, which is typically the Thai cucumber salad recipe. However, to make it a meal, I added a few more veggies tossed together and served cool or at room temperature.

Of late, coconut vinegar has become one of my favorite ingredients and it is perfect in this dish. Also, if mirin is not handy, just use some favorite sweetening ingredient to balance the flavors.

Ingredients
Vinaigrette/marinade:
2 Tbsp coconut vinegar
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp peanut oil or sesame oil

½ large cucumber sliced thinly
½ large red/purple onion, sliced thinly
1 medium tomato sliced or cut into wedges
1 red or green pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
8-10 baby corn, sliced
some toasted sesame seeds or, coarsely broken roasted peanuts
fresh crisp lettuce to form the bed for the salad
some cauliflower, broccoli; and pickled asparagus (optional) if handy, cut into bite-size pieces

Preparation
  1. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients, pour over the veggies and toss lightly; allow to sit for about 30 mins
  2. Heat a tiny bit of sesame oil in a wok, sauté the cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus with some soy sauce and coconut vinegar; remove from wok and allow to cool
  3. Prepare a bed of fresh crisp lettuce, pile the marinated veggies and the sautéed and cooled veggies, top with toasted sesame seeds or crushed roasted peanuts


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