Friday, August 16, 2013

In the Kitchen: Thai Summer Salad

We've been experiencing a proper summer in London with warm sunny days, summer rain and lots of humidity. I mean it probably doesn't compare to New York, but it's hot and sticky at times. So when we get home from work, Hub and I are desperate for something light and refreshing, that doesn't require much cooking let alone baking and of course, a cold beer to wash it down with. 

So one day I decided to whip up a Thai salad of some sort. My absolute favorite is green papaya or green mango, but that's hard to come by 'round these parts. I popped down to Broadway Market and picked up the following for dinner:

Makes about 3-4 servings
  •  1 1/2 bundles of wholewheat wide udon noodles
  • carrots X 3
  • handful of orange cherry tomatoes, halved
  • cup of shelled edamame
  • handful of green beans, chopped into 1" strips
  • limes X 3
  • 1 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • bag of ready cooked prawns
  • small red onion, roughly sliced

Start boiling your noodles and sweating the onions first, because you want these to be cooled down before adding them to your salad. Be sure to keep an eye on your noodles; they cook quickly and you want to avoid overcooking them and turning them into mush. When the noodles are cooked al dente, rinse them in cold water and let them cool down. Personally I don't like raw onions because they make my mouth stink and the taste lingers well after tooth brushing. So I prefer cooking them for this recipe, but you most certainly can slice them in raw if you like. Put the onions with a little bit of oil in a covered pan over low heat and cook until they are soft. Remove from heat and let them cool down. Grab a big bowl for your salad and begin with the dressing. Squeeze in the juice of all three limes and then add the coconut sugar and fish sauce. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Then peel in your carrot and add all the other ingredients including your cooked noodles and onions.

Give it a good toss and voila!

We paired our salad with my Special Shandygaff concoction. Here's how it goes:
  • One large wine glass with 3-4 ice cubes
  • 1/4 bottle of pale lager like Peroni
  • top your glass with equal parts sugar-free citrus soda and sparkling water

This was so easy to make and the colorful veggies were rich in antioxidants. This dish can easily be converted into gluten-free by using brown rice noodles instead of wheat udon. To make it vegan substitute prawns for tofu and the fish sauce with GF soy sauce. For more Asian inspired dishes check out More Than Miso Soup and Peanut Butter Pad Thai.
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