We love salads for dinner on hot summer days. I usually add some protein such as grilled fish or fowl to a mixture of interesting and colourful greens. We have had quite a heat wave for the past few days nearing 100 deg F.
This kind of heat calls for something light for dinner, but not light on flavour. I came up with this Thai Pork Salad after snacking on the barbecued pork I had bought at a local Asian market earlier in the day.
I always have green onions, tomatoes, lemon grass and mint in the garden, kaffir lime leaves on my trees, and fresh salad greens. I grow many heirloom tomatoes in my garden so I usually have a colourful selection on the counter which is perfect for this salad. I alternate yellow, red, black and bi-colour tomatoes slices.
Thai Pork Salad (Yam Mu)
Tear up some lettuce leaves (4 hands full or so)-I used red and green lettuce, place on 2 large plates. Baby greens would work well or a romaine and radicchio mix. I especially like using bitter greens as an accent either arugula or radicchio. That bitter touch is typical of Issan cuisine.
Cut up a tomato into wedges, reserve
Julienne some Japanese cucumber, reserve
Thinly slice skinless smoked duck breast, reserve
Soak bean thread noodles** in hot water, drain
Dressing for noodles
Place these in mortar, pound with pestle add a little fish sauce so it becomes a paste
1 stalk lemon grass sliced thinly
1 garlic clove sliced
2 fresh Kaffir lime leaves, julienned
2+ chiles minced*
1 tablespoon of raw or dry roasted cashews
Add at the end and pound a little
10-12 mint leaves julienned
Then add 1 sliced green onion, and mix the dressing.
Then place in small bowl, add
1 tablespoon sesame oil,
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or lime juice
1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
Mix, adjust fish sauce, oil and vinegar to taste.
Toss this dressing with drained noodles.
Serve the noodles over the lettuce leaves.
Arrange in spoke fashion the barbecue pork slices, then place tomato wedges and cucumbers between the duck slices.
Thai duck salad is great for a hot day's meal.
Notes * I used yellow chopped chiles in a jar. These are great to keep on hand. They come in red, green, and yellow which is the hottest. I used 2 teaspoons heaping of these, but we love hot.
** Cellophane noodles (also known as Chinese vermicelli, bean threads, bean thread noodles, or glass noodles) are a type of transparent Asian noodle made such as mung bean starch and water.
It is fun creating new recipes!