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Thai Salad Dressing

Often times I am asked about the flavourful salad dressing served at many Thai restaurants in the US and Europe. It is a very simple combination of chiles, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and fresh lime juice. If you prefer it not so hot just cut back on the number of chiles used.

You can make this salad dressing in quantity and keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. This dressing is excellent on all types of salads including simple torn up iceberg lettuce, mixed baby greens, and a few cherry tomatoes or thin rice noodles (mie). I especially like it with fresh grilled shrimp on a bed of rice noodles. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

A popular garnish for Thai salads is the addition of chopped peanuts. You can easily dry toast raw penauts in a non-stick pan for a few peanuts being careful to keep the peanuts moving to prevent burning. You only want a golden colour to develop. Let the peanuts cool, then just hand chop and sprinkle over the salad.

Grilled thinly cut steak is also a nice addition to a Thai salad or a sesame seed coated seared piece of ahi tuna. I sometimes make marinated skewers of meats-chicken, pork, or beef satays and serve on a bed of greens using this tasty dressing. All of these are very healthy meals and perfect for anyone wishing to eat a low fat diet.

Many Thai salad dressings do not include any oil, but if you desire you can add a little peanut oil and or toasted sesame oil to this dressing. However, do give it a try without the oil.

4 red ripe Thai Dragons, stemmed and minced (serranos work)
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tab Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
3 tabs lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, taste and adjust seasongs of hot-sour.

Various salad ingredients include: grated green mango, grated green papaya, shredded daikon or jicama, pineapple, coconut, grated carrots, slivered cabbage, chunks of tomato, cucumber, green onions, bean sprouts, and thinly sliced cabbage.

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