|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
This easy tossed green salad recipe can be put together in a matter of minutes. Thai green salad makes a wonderfully cooling side dish to spicy Thai curries and other Thai recipes but is equally excellent for everyday meals. This tossed salad includes a very simple dressing recipe that's delicious, fresh, and slightly creamy but also low in fat and calories. And it can be made as mild or as spicy as you like. Tip: double the salad dressing recipe and keep any extra in the refrigerator for a quick & scrumptious tossed salad anytime!
1 small head romaine or leaf lettuce, or enough salad greens for 2 or 3 people
- 2 green (spring) onions, sliced
- 1/2 to 1 cucumber (see cutting instructions below)
- 1 cup fresh coriander /cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- optional: edible flowers to garnish, such as pansies, nasturtiums, violas, or rose petals
- SALAD DRESSING: (double the recipe if serving 4 or more)
- 1/2 cup good-quality coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce OR vegetarians: use 1 tbsp. soy sauce plus a pinch salt
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- optional: 1/4 tsp. dried crushed chili
Place lettuce in a salad bowl along with the spring onions and basil.
Slice the cucumber lengthwise into thick matchstick-like pieces, OR for more formal occasions: Use a potato peeler and peel the cucumber into long, thin ribbons (see photo). If the slices turn out too long to eat easily, cut them in half or in thirds.
Add the cucumber and coriander to the salad bowl and toss together.
To make the dressing, stir the salad dressing ingredients together in a cup until sugar dissolves. Tip: Any extra dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks - just place in a covered jar or container.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Top with the sliced green onion and basil. Edible flowers can also be added to dress up the dish. Serve immediately.
A Note About this Dressing, + Serving Tips:
Note: Not everyone likes the taste or smell of fish sauce (as one of the reviewers of this recipe found out). If you find it offensive while still in the bottle, chances are, you probably won't like it when combined in the dressing. In this case, I recommend following the instructions for vegetarians as stated in the recipe. Personally, I love fish sauce and even use it in my non-Thai dishes (it makes a terrific Ceasar salad!).
When making this salad for dinner parties, prepare the dressing and bowl of greens ahead of time, keeping them separate. When ready to eat, toss salad with the dressing and plate it up, adding the onion and basil on top plus one or two edible flowers to each plate or bowl.
Note that thicker coconut milks will become somewhat solid when refrigerated. If you've refrigerated the salad dressing, simply take it out a few minutes early and let it sit at room temperature. Then give it a stir and it's ready to use. ENJOY!