Sweet-Hot Thai-Style Cucumber Salad
This salad is quick to whip up and is a nice cool accompaniment to all kinds of stir-fry dishes. Just because it contains traditional Thai ingredients doesn't mean it can't pair nicely with just about any Asian cuisine. You could also drizzle this dressing over fresh baby spinach leaves or mixed spring greens.
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons Thai sweet-chili sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sambal
- 4 cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 scallions, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Table salt and ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted peanuts
Whisk together rice vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, Thai sweet-chili sauce and sambal in a medium mixing bowl. Add the sliced cucumbers and scallions and toss to coat with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Drain any excess liquid that may have accumulated, then add the chopped cilantro, reserving a bit for garnish. Toss the salad lightly and transfer to a serving dish. Top with chopped peanuts and remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
The Thai sweet-chili sauce may pack enough heat for some, so taste your dressing before adding the sambal. You can also adjust the quantities on the fish sauce if you like a little less pungency on that level. If your cucumbers have large seeds, remove them before slicing as they tend to give off a little more liquid and make the dressing a bit watery. Of course if that happens, you can always just serve the salad with a slotted spoon. The flavor will still be terrific.