Traditional Thai salads make tasty warm-weather main dishes
Warmer weather is in the forecast this week, which always puts us in the mood for lighter fare. Mary Frances and Jeff Morketter share two delicious traditional Thai salads that they first enjoyed at Thai Pepper Restaurant on Bragg Boulevard. They liked both so much that Mary Frances managed to duplicate the recipes at home.
“And I’m telling you, it’s some kind of good,” Jeff Morketter said. “It’s to die for, and it’s light for spring or summer.”
Glass Noodle Salad with Chicken and Shrimp
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Thai fish sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced cilantro stems
2 tablespoons minced serrano chile (1 tablespoon Thai bird chiles may be substituted)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 ounces uncooked bean threads (cellophane noodles)
2 cups (½ pound) peeled, cooked, chopped shrimp
6 ounces cooked chicken breast, cut into 1/4 -inch strips
2 cups Romaine lettuce, torn
1 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup thinly chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped, dry-roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons minced cilantro stems
4 tablespoons minced serrano chile (2 tablespoons Thai bird chiles may be substituted)
To prepare dressing, combine first four ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook two minutes or until sugar dissolves. Cool. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, chile and garlic.
For salad, cook noodles in boiling water 1½ minutes, drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain. Coarsely chop noodles, then combine with shrimp and next five ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad. Toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts, cilantro and chile.
Makes five servings, 249 calories, 3.6 g fat, 34.5 g carbs, 21.1 g protein.
Yum Nuer Salad
8 -10 ounces New York strip steaks (about 1½-inch thick)
salt and pepper
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup shallots, sliced thin
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro and leaves
1⁄4 cup mint leaves (loosely packed to measure and then chopped)
1 medium cucumber, seeded and sliced
4 -6 romaine lettuce leaves for serving
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Thai chiles, minced (more or less depending on the heat desired)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced lemongrass; crush slices with the back of a knife after slicing
1½ teaspoons palm sugar or 1½ teaspoons light brown sugar can be substituted
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
2½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
Crush minced garlic and bird chili peppers together against the cutting board with the flat side of a knife to make a paste.
Combine in a small bowl with lemongrass, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
Whisk together to combine and set aside.
To cook the steak, heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
Sear the steak on one side and continue to cook 5-6 minutes.
Flip the steak and cook for another 5 minutes or until medium rare or medium.
Remove from heat and let stand on cutting board for 5 minutes.
After meat has rested, slice steak very thinly.
In a large bowl, add beef, mint, shallots, cilantro and cucumber.
Pour the dressing on top and toss gently.
Line a serving platter with romaine leaves and pile beef salad on top.
Serve with rice if desired.