Have you ever noticed that just like the fashion industry where clothing changes seasonally, certain foods go in and out of style? Sometimes it’s comfort food; sometimes it’s Mexican; Sometimes Japanese, or Greek, or Chinese. It seems that what we’re eating can be as trendy as what we’re wearing! Thai flavors and dishes have been one of the primary trends creeping into our recipe repertoires gradually for the past several years; no wonder—the flavors of Thai cooking are intense and delicious.
I developed this recipe because I love the peanut sauce that is so popular in Thai cooking, and I thought it would coat shredded pork nicely to be the star ingredient of a beautiful and tasty main dish salad. I always have shredded pork in my freezer to use in this salad; the Basic Pork Module link is at the bottom of this article. If you haven’t yet prepared your pork, you may substitute 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts which have been covered with salted water, brought to a boil and simmered five minutes, then cooled in the broth and shredded. This salad is gorgeous and suitable for any type of company. For a dramatic effect, spread it out on a large platter so the colors of the vegetables stand out.
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red hot pepper, or to taste
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups shredded pork
1/2 package wonton wrappers
oil for deep frying
6 cups mixed gourmet greens
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 red pepper, sliced thin
1/2 mild Anaheim chili pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into chunks
3 green onions including tops, chopped
Dressing: Turn on food processor and drop the clove of garlic in; process until finely chopped. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, and crushed red pepper. Process until mixed, and with the motor running, pour in the vegetable oil and process until thick and thoroughly mixed.
Measure out 1/2 cup of the dressing and mix with the pork. Cover and marinate until serving time.
Separate the wonton wrappers and slice about 1/2" thick. Heat the oil to 375°; drop in the wrapper slices and cook until crisp. Drain well and set aside.
In a large salad bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together; add the marinated pork and toss with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle with the wonton wrappers and serve immediately.
Basic Pork Module