Sunday, January 06, 2008
Tasty Thai Salad
I credit my ability to create recipes and to cook to my mother. She didn't do much cooking, so I started baking cookies at the age of eight, and cooking for the family by the time I was twelve. ( I still remember the time I brought home baked - and slightly burnt - chocolate cookies to a school get together!) That was my first attempt at baking, and boy, did I have initiative to improve after that!
One thing I have a knack for is to taste a recipe that someone else makes, and go home and duplicate it. Here's my version of a really good Thai salad that I bought at a deli a few weeks ago. The main ingredients are obvious, but it's the dressing that had a little surprise taste to it. Peanut oil and a good quality Thai peanut sauce are what makes this salad so tasty.
1/2 cup peanut oil
2 TBSP roasted sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar (not wine vinegar)
1/3 cup peanut sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
pinch of dried hot red pepper seeds
salt to taste
2 packages of steamed fresh Asian noodles (300 gm), cooked according to package directions
2 grilled chicken breasts, diced (leftover chicken works well)
1 1/2 cups fresh snow peas, halved and steamed till crisp
1 large carrot, shredded
1 large red pepper, diced
3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted cashews (optional)
3 TBSP poppy seeds
Whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Marinate the diced chicken breast in a few tablespoons of the dressing. Let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients. If the noodles are long, after cooking, cut them shorter after you drain them in a strainer. This is easy to do if you invert the strainer onto a cutting board, then using a large knife, just slice through the cooked noodles in several places. Combine everything in a bowl. You'll probably have to mix the ingredients with your hands. Enjoy.
Simple, isn't it?