Tag Archives: Salad

Som Tam

Som Tam is a Thai style Green Papaya Salad. A popular street food, Som Tam can be found in road side stalls, markets and many restaurants in Thailand. There are many styles of Som Tam and it is believed to have originated in Laos. Isaan Som Tam is made by crushing small crabs  (Som Tam Pu) and is always very very hot! My Som Tam is more like Som Tam Thai which contains peanuts.

My Papaya was green on the outside but getting quite pinky orange on the inside. It was still firm enough to grate however, and very yummy.

Cooking Thai food is always about the taste. I don’t follow recipes I just do it to taste. What follows is what I did the last time I made Papaya salad but when making the dressing remember to mix it, then taste it and add the salt, sour and sweet flavours to taste as needed.

Papaya-salad

Ingredients

Dressing
2 Tbs fish sauce
3 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs palm sugar (or brown sugar)
3 cloves of garlic
2 small hot chillies

Salad
1 small papaya, peeled and grated
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely julienne
6 beans, very finely sliced
1 tomato, chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
a handful of bean sprouts
5 Tbs tiny dried shrimp (crushed a little in the mortar)
Roasted peanuts (or crushed nuts*)

Green-Papaya-Salad

Method

For the dressing
In a jar I mixed the first three ingredients of the dressing. I gave the jar a really good shake and then tasted the dressing. You should be able to taste the salt of the fish sauce, sourness of the lime and sweetness of the sugar. Adjust your dressing until you are happy with it by adding more of what is needed i.e. sour, sweet or salty.

With a mortar and pestle I crushed the garlic and red chillies and added them to the jar with the dressing. I gave it a really good shake and set it aside in the refrigerator until needed.

For the salad
In a bowl I mixed the papaya, carrot, chilli, beans, tomato, spring onion and shrimp. Then I added a couple of tablespoons of crushed nuts because I didn’t have any roasted peanuts. The peanuts in this salad are usually chunky.

I added the dressing and mixed the salad well before serving with a sprinkling of crushed nuts.

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PIN_SomTam

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Laos Larb Kai (Chicken Salad)

I have made the point of naming this Laos’ Larb Kai because it came to my attention while we were travelling in Laos, that the delicious meat salad called larb, did in fact originate in Laos not Thailand as many believe.

I have always enjoyed larb at the Thai restaurants in Adelaide, and in Thailand itself. I wasn’t surprised to see it on the menu in Laos, but I assumed, incorrectly, that the idea had derived from Thailand not the other way around. In fact, it is regarded as the national dish of Laos – unofficially.

This spicy meat salad is served at room temperature with sticky rice or salad vegetables.

IMG_1889 (1)

Ingredients

3 Tbs of uncooked sticky rice (Optional)
300g of chicken mince
3-4 asian shallots, finely sliced
2-3 stalks of spring onion, finely sliced (optional)
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
a handful each of mint and coriander* chopped
1 Tbs chilli flakes
The juice of one lime
1 Tbs fish sauce
1/2 Tbs brown sugar

How I make my larb….

First step is to toast the rice. I say optional for the rice because I have made it many times without the rice when I just wanted to make a quick meal. The toasted rice just adds texture.

To toast the rice, I just heated a wok on low heat without oil and added the rice. I continued to stir the rice until it browned and started to smell like popcorn about 10-15mins.

After I let the rice cool a little, I ground it in a mortal with pestle to a powder and set it aside.

For the salad dressing I mixed the juice of one lime with the fish sauce and brown sugar and set aside.

For the larb I added a little oil to my wok and fried up the chicken mince, breaking up any big lumps as I went. I removed the chicken from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. This is when I prepared my vegetables (cucumber and beans) with which I was going to serve with the larb.

Once I was ready to serve I added the shallot, spring onion, and chilli flakes to the chicken in the wok and stirred it well (without heat). I then tossed in the mint, coriander, chopped red chilli and mixed well. I added the dressing next giving the salad a mix, before finally adding three tablespoons of the rice powder.

TIP: add the rice powder gradually as is will depend on the texture you want – I added one tablespoon gave the salad a good toss and did a taste test, before repeat that same process twice more.

Serve with rice or lettuce cups, or as I did with sliced cucumber and green beans.

IMG_1895_1

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This spicy meat salad is made with chicken and fresh herbs.

Green Mango Salad

This was one of our favourite Cambodian street foods. Often made in roadside stalls; we watch these salads being made with tiny whole crushed crabs, and sampled many others that incorporated small dried shrimp. I opted to make my mango salad with the dried shrimp* which is readily available in S E Asia where we are currently located.

Ingredients

2 green mangos, peeled and shredded/grated
1/2 a small carrot, grated (I used carrot to add a bit of colour)
3 Tbs dried shrimp
1 small hot chilli, finely chopped
1 Tbs of finely chopped garlic
3 small asian shallots, finely sliced
A handful each of holy** basil and mint, finely chopped
2 Tbs crushed peanuts

For the dressing
3 Tbs fish sauce
The juice of two limes
2 Tbs of sweet chilli sauce
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Mangosalad1

This is how I made the salad….

I put all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and gave it a good shake and set aside until needed (this made enough salad dressing to save half to use the next day!)

Then in a bowl, I placed the shredded mango, carrot, shrimp, chilli, garlic, shallots, basil, mint and one tablespoon of the peanuts. I gave the salad a really good mix, then added the dressing and mixed it through well.

To serve I place a good portion on individual plates and sprinkle with more peanuts.

Just bloody delicious!

Mangosalad5

Notes:

*leave out the shrimp if you can’t find any or if you do not like them.

**use normal basil if you can’t get holy basil

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Cambodian style green mango salad. delicious fresh and full of herbs

Crispy Duck Breast Salad

I cooked this crispy duck breast salad for our 12th anniversary dinner. Our anniversary dinner was a day late because we both forgot our anniversary, until the end of the day when I remembered. I, of course, played the “I was just waiting to see if you’d remember” card… but Dwayne saw through it!

Crispy Duck Salad
Crispy Duck Salad
Crispy Skin Duck Salad - this one I made for Hellen and Phil for their anniversary.
Crispy Skin Duck Salad – this one I made for Hellen and Phil for their anniversary.

What I had aboard… duck breast, cabbage, carrot, chilli, star anise, cinnamon sticks, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, peppercorns and soy.

What I did…

I made a master stock of :

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dark soy
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cm ginger, sliced
  • 2 garlic, crushed
  • 6 peppercorns

I mixed all the stock ingredients together and marinated the two duck breasts for 12 hours.  Then I removed the duck and put the marinade into a pot and brought it to the boil. I simmered this stock for 10 minutes before adding the duck breast. I then added the duck and simmered for a further 5 minutes. I removed the duck breasts (reserve the stock) and dried them on a paper towel and sat them before a fan to dry.

Crispy Duck Salad

In the mean time I made a salad of shredded cabbage, carrots and julienne chillies.

To serve I placed the salad on plates and set them aside. I heated oil in a fry pan and fried the duck for a few minutes on the underside before turning it over and frying the duck breast, skin side down, until crispy. Once crispy, I sat the duck aside for a few minutes while I heated the reserved stock, reducing it. I sliced the duck and placed it on the salad and ladled  some of the reduced master stock over the salad.

Crispy Duck Breast
Crispy Duck Breast
The salad to go with this duck was made with apple and carrot.
The salad to go with this duck was made with apple and carrot.

Bon appetite!

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Crispy Duck Breast Salad

Crab Salad

This is another little creation I made while anchored in Darwin Harbour. It was after I got back from my trip to Adelaide. While in Adelaide working my butt off, painting etc, Dwayne was in Darwin, fishing, crabbing and going to the races….. anyhow he caught a couple of crabs and knew better than to eat them while I was away.

Prepared mud crabs

I’ve been wanting a crab salad ever since we hit mud crab territory but had, as yet, had little luck. With the heat in Darwin during the ‘build-up’ making cooking unpleasant, I decided to use one of the cooked mud crabs for this simple salad.

Crab Salad

I used a food stack mould and layered it with a slice of honey dew and rock melon, shredded lettuce and then a layer of crab and diced cucumber. I topped the salad with a dressing I made with lime juice, walnut oil, mirin, sweet chilli and sesame oil.

Crab Salad

Delicious and very refreshing in the humidity.

BBQ Marlin Fillets with Grapefruit, Fennel, Lime and Dill Salad.

Dwayne barbecued the marlin fillets, while I threw together a salad of mixed lettuce leaves, ruby grapefruit, thinly sliced fennel, red onion, cucumber, tomato and spring onions.

For the dressing I used  dill, lime and a little olive oil. Simple, yet really enjoyable.

Fresh fruity salad with BBQ marlin fillet

Crayfish Salad with Thai-Style Dressing

While anchored in Darwin Harbour, with supermarkets nearby, I decided to do a romantic dinner for Dwayne. For entree I made crayfish salad using a crayfish we caught in the Great Barrier Reef. It is very simple but looks great!

CRAYFISH SALAD WITH THAI-STYLE DRESSING

This is what I did…

I made a salad dressing by mixing

3 Tbs of coconut cream
2 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp brown sugar

I refrigerated until I was ready to use it.

I prepared a small packet of vermicelli noodles by soaking them in boiling water. I drained them well and mixed some of the salad dressing through them. I refrigerated the noodles until I was ready to make my salad stacks.

I shredded carrot, lettuce and snow peas, then chopped some  coriander and sliced some tomato.

CRAYFISH SALAD WITH THAI-STYLE DRESSING

I stacked the vegetables firmly into a mould, beginning with the noodles and topping it off with the tomato and coriander.

CRAYFISH SALAD WITH THAI-STYLE DRESSING

I removed the stack mould.

CRAYFISH SALAD WITH THAI-STYLE DRESSING

I then topped the salad with crayfish and salad dressing. Voila! Simple, colourful and delicious.

CRAYFISH SALAD WITH THAI-STYLE DRESSING
Crayfish Salad with Thai Style Dressing