Thai food. Thai curries, Thai salads. What’s not to love? So here’s a super flavorful, savory, and tart Thai-style dressing (+ a little spicy) so you can make your favorite Thai-style salads at home. I think this dressing combines fantastically with hearty winter vegetables like cabbage as well as with high-water content vegetables like zucchini. Which is why I am sharing two different types of salads ideas with you.
A Thai-Style Dressing to test your creativity
This dressing is great with all sorts of cabbage; red, white, pointed, Chinese or savoy, even a mix of them. Red pepper is a welcome addition. You can also add edamame to it, or shredded broccoli stalks, thinly sliced bok choy, add thinly sliced snow peas, mango or papaya and top with toasted sesame seeds, cashews or peanuts. The options are endless.
Spicy Thai-Style Dressing with two salad variations
I decided to share two variations of salads for this dressing, only because my favorite Schwabe and I had very different opinions on which one was better. I preferred the zucchini salad, where he much more a fan of the crunchy cabbage coleslaw. I am definitely curious to hear what your favorite may be. Or if you have your own preference of what you think should be included in a salad with a Thai-style dressing. Let me know in the comments below!
Spicy Thai-Style Dressing
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar or soft brown sugar (I recommend GEPA organic mascabado sugar)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 fresh red chili, thinly sliced
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice with the fish sauce, oils, sugar, garlic, and fresh chili.
Salad Variation 1 – Zucchini, Carrot and Kaki Salad
2 large zucchini, julienned or spiralized
2 medium carrots, julienned or spiralized
1 kaki, julienned (mango is also a good choice)
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 handful raw cashews, lightly roasted (or unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped) (25-30 g)
1. In a large salad bowl, add the zucchini, carrot, kaki, cilantro, mint, and nuts. Pour over the spicy Thai-style dressing and toss to combine.
2. Serve and enjoy!
Salad Variation 2 – Crunchy Cabbage Slaw
1 small head Chinese (Napa) cabbage or savoy cabbage, finely shredded (about 2-3 handfuls)
2 medium carrots, shredded or julienned
2 sticks celery, thinly sliced
2 small cucumbers or 1/2 English cucumber, julienned
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 handful cilantro leaves, chopped
1 handful mint leaves, chopped
300 g rotisserie chicken breast, shredded
1. In a large salad bowl, add the cabbage, carrot, celery, cucumber, green onion, cilantro, and mint (plus shredded rotisserie chicken, if using). Pour over the spicy Thai-style dressing and toss to combine.
2. Serve and enjoy!
Inspired and adapted from Saveur: