The other day when I made my Thai green curry fish Something Thai I also made some Asian side dishes to go with the fish. One of those dishes was an Asian cucumber and carrot salad. Once again, it was very easy to make with just a few simple ingredients, which is perfect, especially in these dog days of summer. This salad was refreshingly cool and colorful on a hot summer’s day.
Some basic ingredients that are almost always found in Thai cooking are cilantro, coconut milk, garlic, ginger, limes, curries or curry pastes (Even in Thailand, most people use pre-made curry pastes rather than making their own, although they are easy enough to make.), peppers of all kinds and chiles. Nuts are also widely used in Thai cooking and Thai recipes. Most commonly, you will find peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds or pepitas. This salad had quite of few of these ingredients in the mix, as you would expect when making a Thai or Asian salad, since a lot of the same ingredients are prevalent in many other Asian recipes from different cultures and countries.
Cucumber and Carrot Salad
1 1/2 cups of cucumbers, seeded
1/4 cup carrots, cut into thin, small matchstick size strips
1/4 cup red onion, sliced very thin
1/2 cup shredded lettuce or wakame salad
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 TBSP garlic
1 TBSP ginger
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Thai green chili paste
1 TBSP sesame oil
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped, + more for topping
Mix all the ingredients together to make the sauce and set aside.
Toss the carrots, cucumbers and onions together, then add the dressing and toss again to combine everything together well. I kept the skins on my cucumbers and cut them in thin matchsticks like I did my carrots, but these are optional. If you prefer to skin the cucumbers, that’s fine too.
Once everything has been combined, line your serving dish with the lettuce or salad and then top the carrot and cucumber mixture on top. Add a little cilantro on top and chill or at least one hour before serving, but no more than 3-4 hours or everything will get soggy and mushy. If you like, you can also add some toasted sesame seeds on top as part of the garnish as well.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.