We love salads, especially in summer as a main entree. I often "play" with salad ingrediets to "Thai" them up as I say. Using the wonderful balance of hot, sweet, sour and salty that is the signature of Thai cuisine I try various new ideas.
I have developed a wonderful Thai "coleslaw" that is so much better than the traditional American soupy mayo mess that is so often served at summer barbecues. Even the Ramen Cabbage Salad can be Thai-d up nicely!
One of the healthiest and least inexpensive vegetables is borocolli and most people seem to like it as well. I use brocolli in many Thai stir-fry dishes so why not as the main ingredient for a salad I asked myself.
Here is what I came up with, and it is a crowd pleaser too whether as an entre or a side at a barbecue.
1/4 cup toasted chopped peanuts
1 1/2 tab sugar
1 1/2 tab hot water
1 tab fresh lime juice
1 tab fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp minced Thai chiles
1 tsp peanut oil
3 cup fresh broccoli, in florets
1/2 cup red bell peppers, julienned
1/2 cup sweet white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh water chestnuts 1/4" dice *
4 cloves garlic, minced
chile infused sesame oil
fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Blend peanuts, Splenda, water, lime juice, fish sauce, sesame oil, and chiles. Pulse. Stir fry vegetables until ala dente. Place in a large bowl, and pour dressing over it. Drizzle hot sesame oil. Toss veggies with the dressing. This can be served either hot or cold.
Garnish with cilantro leaves and additional chopped roasted peanuts if desired.
*optional water chestnuts-Place whole fresh chestnuts in pan, cover with water, boil 20 minutes, peel, and dice. Fresh water chestnuts have a wonderful sweet flavour.
Great summer lunch or salad or side for a full Thai meal. To make this an entre salad grill shrimp on skewers and place across the salad.
Garnish with Chile Flowers: slit whole chiles into quarters, but leave on stem. Place in ice water for 20 minutes.