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  • Thai Salads

    Post #1 - July 24th, 2011, 12:10 pm
    Post #1 - July 24th, 2011, 12:10 pm Post #1 - July 24th, 2011, 12:10 pm
    There are lots of sporadic mentions of Thai salads on LTH but I thought they deserve their own thread. To my mind, the Thai's really have the concept of a salad down pat. Thai salads rarely feature lettuce (except as a garnish). I have nothing against lettuce, but substituting say, pork, for lettuce is a definite improvement in my book. In the summer, we probably have a Thai or 'Thai-ish' salad about once a week. You can pretty much throw together meat/seafood/crunchy vegetables of your choice, add some cashews/peanuts, and dress with fish sauce/lime juice/sugar, add some chopped mint/cilantro/thai basil/minced lemongrass and off course chiles and viola!

    Here are some faves and recent random Thai salads.

    I have made boudreaulicious's Thai apple salad many times since she posted the recipe after last years picnic. It never fails to get rave reviews and I've sent the recipe link to several friends upon request.

    JoelF first posted a recipe for Thai steak salad (Neua nam tok) on LTH and I made his recipe for the 1000 recipe potluck salad. It's one of my favorite summer salads.

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    I make a lot of som tum (papaya salad). I can't quite get it to have the same flavor profile as Aroy's som tum Thai (my benchmark) but it's still good.
    Recently, I planned to make a green mango salad but I waited too long and the green mango got a little ripe. It was still good.

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    Sometimes I just throw together what's available--here's a chicken, pineapple, bell pepper, cashew combo topped with crispy shallots:
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    I make larb with ground pork (or chicken). The Lobo flavoring packets (which include ground toasted rice) make this a super fast weeknight meal when I'm short on time.

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    I'm planning to make some Thai eggplant salad with the yield from my garden this year. KennyZ posted on a version of this with trout.

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    Other favorites: grilled shrimp salad with lemongrass, banana blossom salad (kind of a work in progress), pomelo salad and yam woon sen (bean thread noodle salad).
    Anyone else have Thai salad faves?
  • Post #2 - July 24th, 2011, 12:26 pm
    Post #2 - July 24th, 2011, 12:26 pm Post #2 - July 24th, 2011, 12:26 pm
    I'm a huge fan of thai salads involving sweet/tart fruit as a main component especially in summer. Last night, as I often do towards a tail end of a case of mangos (usually atualfos) I made a ripe mango salad - a fairly simple one, using mango, roasted rice, red onion, cilantro in a fairly standard dressing (lime juice, fish sauce, sambal oelek, pinch of sugar). Was a very nice accompaniment to the dinner my wife made of panko breaded tuna filets and coconut rice. My own preference for this salad is to use a mango with more tartness

    Another fruit that works very well is pomelo or grapefruit, I use as a base for this thompson's recipe in thai food. This one works very well with shrimp/crab/scallops
  • Post #3 - July 24th, 2011, 2:00 pm
    Post #3 - July 24th, 2011, 2:00 pm Post #3 - July 24th, 2011, 2:00 pm
    Perhaps my very favourite yum, heck one of my favourite dishes in the entire cuisine, is yum pla duk foo (crispy catfish green mango salad). It's unlikely that I'll stank up my place to deep-fry the shredded fish, but fortunately I have a few good restaurant versions available to me here. Wonder if you guys see the pre-fried fish in your local Thai markets ? When I get the dish to-go from a local restaurant here, they supply me with about 3x as much fish as salad, so that comes in handy.
  • Post #4 - July 25th, 2011, 7:41 am
    Post #4 - July 25th, 2011, 7:41 am Post #4 - July 25th, 2011, 7:41 am
    Are there any favorite cookbooks on Thai salads?
  • Post #5 - July 25th, 2011, 9:54 am
    Post #5 - July 25th, 2011, 9:54 am Post #5 - July 25th, 2011, 9:54 am
    I've been working on a "ghetto" banana blossom salad recipe, using Durkee Fried Onions and canned artichokes, rather than actual banana blossom and crisp-fried shallots.

    Haven't had the nerve to actually foist it on anyone yet, but the ideas are stirring. The labor saving is attractive, but would it actually work? Banana blossom and artichoke have similar textures, although you'd have to do a fair amount of rinsing to get the brininess out of the chokes.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #6 - July 25th, 2011, 10:13 am
    Post #6 - July 25th, 2011, 10:13 am Post #6 - July 25th, 2011, 10:13 am
    Hi,

    Chris Koetke of Kendall College has a television show called Let's Dish. I caught part of an episode related to Thai cooking, which included two salads.

    The Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad) was made under the careful watch of Chef Arun Sampanthavivat with Chris doing the pounding. Recipe and segment can be found here: http://livewellnetwork.com/Lets-Dish/episodes/Som-Tum-(Spicy-Green-Papaya-Salad)/6995524?pid=7582141

    I have to admit the mortar and pestal resting on the glass cooktop, I was waiting for something to break.

    The entire program can be found here (as well in segments): http://livewellnetwork.com/Lets-Dish/episodes/Thai-Made-Healthy/7582141
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #7 - July 25th, 2011, 10:14 am
    Post #7 - July 25th, 2011, 10:14 am Post #7 - July 25th, 2011, 10:14 am
    lougord99 wrote:Are there any favorite cookbooks on Thai salads?


    I don't know of any cookbooks specifically on salads. David Thompson's Thai Food cookbook has lots of interesting salads but his recipes tend towards the time intensive and are packed with hard to find ingredients. I have tended to use my cookbooks as more of a jumping off point. For salad inspiration, I like Nancy McDermott's Real Thai, The Elegant Taste of Thai Food: Foods of the Cha Am province and Hot Sour Salty Sweet by Alford/Duguid (to name a few).
  • Post #8 - July 25th, 2011, 7:38 pm
    Post #8 - July 25th, 2011, 7:38 pm Post #8 - July 25th, 2011, 7:38 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:The Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad) was made under the careful watch of Chef Arun Sampanthavivat with Chris doing the pounding. Recipe and segment can be found here: http://livewellnetwork.com/Lets-Dish/ep ... paya-Salad)/6995524?pid=7582141


    Thanks for posting--this motivated me to make Som Tam for dinner tonight and use two of their tips--'muddling' pieces of whole lime with the salad and adding tamarind. These will definitely be part of my future Som Tam preparations.

    Ingredients (not pictured: tamarind liquid--about 2 T)
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  • Post #9 - July 25th, 2011, 8:26 pm
    Post #9 - July 25th, 2011, 8:26 pm Post #9 - July 25th, 2011, 8:26 pm
    JoelF wrote:I've been working on a "ghetto" banana blossom salad recipe, using Durkee Fried Onions and canned artichokes, rather than actual banana blossom and crisp-fried shallots.

    Haven't had the nerve to actually foist it on anyone yet, but the ideas are stirring. The labor saving is attractive, but would it actually work? Banana blossom and artichoke have similar textures, although you'd have to do a fair amount of rinsing to get the brininess out of the chokes.
    Have you considered using frozen artichokes, which generally aren't brined?

    -Dan
  • Post #10 - July 26th, 2011, 9:48 am
    Post #10 - July 26th, 2011, 9:48 am Post #10 - July 26th, 2011, 9:48 am
    dansch wrote:
    JoelF wrote:I've been working on a "ghetto" banana blossom salad recipe, using Durkee Fried Onions and canned artichokes, rather than actual banana blossom and crisp-fried shallots.

    Haven't had the nerve to actually foist it on anyone yet, but the ideas are stirring. The labor saving is attractive, but would it actually work? Banana blossom and artichoke have similar textures, although you'd have to do a fair amount of rinsing to get the brininess out of the chokes.
    Have you considered using frozen artichokes, which generally aren't brined?

    -Dan


    I can't stand canned artichokes and have had no luck finding frozen. Any leads?
  • Post #11 - July 26th, 2011, 11:52 am
    Post #11 - July 26th, 2011, 11:52 am Post #11 - July 26th, 2011, 11:52 am
    Frozen artichokes are available at both Trader Joe's and Treasure Island. You have both stores relatively close to your posted location in Roscoe Village.
  • Post #12 - July 26th, 2011, 4:26 pm
    Post #12 - July 26th, 2011, 4:26 pm Post #12 - July 26th, 2011, 4:26 pm
    dansch wrote:
    JoelF wrote:I've been working on a "ghetto" banana blossom salad recipe, using Durkee Fried Onions and canned artichokes, rather than actual banana blossom and crisp-fried shallots.

    Haven't had the nerve to actually foist it on anyone yet, but the ideas are stirring. The labor saving is attractive, but would it actually work? Banana blossom and artichoke have similar textures, although you'd have to do a fair amount of rinsing to get the brininess out of the chokes.
    Have you considered using frozen artichokes, which generally aren't brined?

    -Dan

    The only frozen chokes I've seen (but i haven't looked much) were artichoke heart bottom cups -- great for stuffing -- seen at Arax Foods in Niles.
    If it doesn't include the bracts (the leafy parts), it wouldn't have the texture similar to banana blossom, and those certainly didn't.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #13 - July 26th, 2011, 4:34 pm
    Post #13 - July 26th, 2011, 4:34 pm Post #13 - July 26th, 2011, 4:34 pm
    The only frozen chokes I've seen (but i haven't looked much) were artichoke heart bottom cups -- great for stuffing -- seen at Arax Foods in Niles.
    If it doesn't include the bracts (the leafy parts), it wouldn't have the texture similar to banana blossom, and those certainly didn't.


    The TJ frozen artichokes are hearts, not bottoms, i.e. have the leaves, Birdseye also sells frozen artichoke hearts.
  • Post #14 - July 27th, 2011, 8:39 am
    Post #14 - July 27th, 2011, 8:39 am Post #14 - July 27th, 2011, 8:39 am
    Not authentic by any stretch but I like raw bay scallops dressed with a thai style dressing of lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, garlic and lots of scuds and then tossed with cilantro, red onion and mango.
  • Post #15 - July 31st, 2011, 8:31 pm
    Post #15 - July 31st, 2011, 8:31 pm Post #15 - July 31st, 2011, 8:31 pm
    We made Thai eggplant salad (Yam Makeua) as an accompaniment to Thai grilled chicken thighs (a riff on the fantastic recipe posted by BrendanR) and sticky rice (well, not-so-sticky rice since we were too impatient to wait for it to finish steaming).

    I really like these little palm sugar disks they have at Golden Pacific--the size is more convenient than the bigger ones I'd been using previously. One smash with a mallet and voila--nice soft palm sugar.

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    Other ingredients: shallots, mint, cilantro, scallions, dressing made from ground dried shrimp ('fluff'), nam prik pao (Thai chile jam), palm sugar, lime and fish sauce

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    Eggplant, charred on the grill, then peeled and sliced:

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    Not so pretty, but tastes great:

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  • Post #16 - August 6th, 2011, 9:06 am
    Post #16 - August 6th, 2011, 9:06 am Post #16 - August 6th, 2011, 9:06 am
    thanks for the tip on the palm sugar discs, mine always hardens into large chunks of solid rock, requiring an ice pick to dislodge useable chunks.

    the eggplant salad is a favorite of mine - a few notes - I've heard of a few different types of eggplant being used for these: the white eggplants I am told are what they use at Aroy, and i've seen them use the long green eggplants (similar to japanese, but slightly fatter, and well. . .green) at TAC.

    at a number of spots I've seen sesame seeds used in topping this dish (which always surprised me, because I don't see it often in other thai dishes - sort of like cauliflower's appearance in a number of Gaeng Som's and nowehere else), which Iv'e taken to doing. I also like a little mint in the greenery mix.
  • Post #17 - August 7th, 2011, 10:36 am
    Post #17 - August 7th, 2011, 10:36 am Post #17 - August 7th, 2011, 10:36 am
    zim wrote:
    the eggplant salad is a favorite of mine - a few notes - I've heard of a few different types of eggplant being used for these: the white eggplants I am told are what they use at Aroy, and i've seen them use the long green eggplants (similar to japanese, but slightly fatter, and well. . .green) at TAC.


    I've been using Pingtung or Beatrice from my garden (though the white eggplant is a great idea...)

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  • Post #18 - August 7th, 2011, 11:13 am
    Post #18 - August 7th, 2011, 11:13 am Post #18 - August 7th, 2011, 11:13 am
    JoelF wrote:I've been working on a "ghetto" banana blossom salad recipe, using Durkee Fried Onions and canned artichokes, rather than actual banana blossom and crisp-fried shallots.

    Haven't had the nerve to actually foist it on anyone yet, but the ideas are stirring. The labor saving is attractive, but would it actually work? Banana blossom and artichoke have similar textures, although you'd have to do a fair amount of rinsing to get the brininess out of the chokes.


    Are you movin' in on my Food Desert Project, Joel? Seriously, let me know if you get something, I've been playing around with various canned vegetables to try to get a Thai or Vietnamese-style salad, and just haven't got it right yet. Maybe blanching the artichokes?
  • Post #19 - August 8th, 2011, 9:01 am
    Post #19 - August 8th, 2011, 9:01 am Post #19 - August 8th, 2011, 9:01 am
    Mhays wrote:
    JoelF wrote:I've been working on a "ghetto" banana blossom salad recipe, using Durkee Fried Onions and canned artichokes, rather than actual banana blossom and crisp-fried shallots.

    Haven't had the nerve to actually foist it on anyone yet, but the ideas are stirring. The labor saving is attractive, but would it actually work? Banana blossom and artichoke have similar textures, although you'd have to do a fair amount of rinsing to get the brininess out of the chokes.


    Are you movin' in on my Food Desert Project, Joel? Seriously, let me know if you get something, I've been playing around with various canned vegetables to try to get a Thai or Vietnamese-style salad, and just haven't got it right yet. Maybe blanching the artichokes?

    Ok, now I feel the gauntlet is thrown. I may have to show up with this at the picnic.
    I'm not sure I can do it entirely food-desert-style: there's no substitute for some of the other fresh ingredients. My main impetus is that banana blossoms aren't the easiest item to find (and are a heck of a lot of labor for not a lot of food value, due to the need to dispose of all the baby nanners), and that frying the shallots is also a high-labor and high-mess step that the canned items would cut short.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #20 - August 8th, 2011, 9:17 am
    Post #20 - August 8th, 2011, 9:17 am Post #20 - August 8th, 2011, 9:17 am
    JoelF wrote:My main impetus is that banana blossoms aren't the easiest item to find (and are a heck of a lot of labor for not a lot of food value, due to the need to dispose of all the baby nanners), . . .

    Can't help you much on the labor front, but if you do venture into the city, you can find fresh banana blossoms at Golden Pacific on Broadway.
  • Post #21 - August 8th, 2011, 11:14 am
    Post #21 - August 8th, 2011, 11:14 am Post #21 - August 8th, 2011, 11:14 am
    Can't help you much on the labor front, but if you do venture into the city, you can find fresh banana blossoms at Golden Pacific on Broadway.


    They are also nearly always available at Marketplace on Oakton, as well.
  • Post #22 - August 28th, 2011, 9:00 am
    Post #22 - August 28th, 2011, 9:00 am Post #22 - August 28th, 2011, 9:00 am
    I've been increasingly replacing the papaya in my som tum with green mango. I like the texture and flavor a little better.


    Thai grilled chicken, green mango salad, sticky rice:

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  • Post #23 - August 28th, 2011, 2:08 pm
    Post #23 - August 28th, 2011, 2:08 pm Post #23 - August 28th, 2011, 2:08 pm
    sundevilpeg wrote:
    Can't help you much on the labor front, but if you do venture into the city, you can find fresh banana blossoms at Golden Pacific on Broadway.


    They are also nearly always available at Marketplace on Oakton, as well.


    Had banana blossoms at the new Mariano's in Roscoe Village at opening. Don't remember the price or not sure if a regular item. I remember seeing them and going: "Wha?"

    They are also regularly at Fresh Farms in Niles.
  • Post #24 - October 5th, 2011, 8:31 pm
    Post #24 - October 5th, 2011, 8:31 pm Post #24 - October 5th, 2011, 8:31 pm
    I had a bunch of veggies in the fridge from our CSA plus a bunch of herbs left over from a Vietnamese dish and decided to combine everything for a 'Thai' salad.

    'Thai' salad with blanched yellow beans, red peppers, red perilla, basil, mint and cilantro (with a dried shrimp, fish sauce, lime, sugar, chili-garlic paste dressing):

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    Served with Thai grilled pork loin and sticky rice

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  • Post #25 - October 6th, 2011, 9:20 am
    Post #25 - October 6th, 2011, 9:20 am Post #25 - October 6th, 2011, 9:20 am
    thaiobsessed wrote:Image

    Looks great! I'd help with any leftovers... ;-)
    -Mary
  • Post #26 - January 15th, 2012, 2:30 pm
    Post #26 - January 15th, 2012, 2:30 pm Post #26 - January 15th, 2012, 2:30 pm
    After sampling a terrific wing bean salad at My Choice in Bangkok, we decided to try and replicate this at home. We found wing beans at Golden Pacific--they don't have a great shelf life and were a little saggy after a day in the fridge but they worked well. The salad is composed of toasted, julienned coconut, blanched wing beans, a dressing of coconut milk, palm sugar, fish sauce, lime, and Thai chili jam (nam prik pao), then topped with crispy fried shallots. I have to work on the dressing balance a little (I added a little too much lime juice to this batch), but overall, I thought this was a big success. I'm considering trying to grow wing beans in the garden this summer. Has anyone tried this?

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    Thai Wing Bean Salad:

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  • Post #27 - January 15th, 2012, 3:32 pm
    Post #27 - January 15th, 2012, 3:32 pm Post #27 - January 15th, 2012, 3:32 pm
    I'm considering trying to grow wing beans in the garden this summer. Has anyone tried this?


    I'd be willing to try, though it seems it might do better in a warmer climate.

    Do you have a reasonable source for seeds?
  • Post #28 - January 15th, 2012, 9:38 pm
    Post #28 - January 15th, 2012, 9:38 pm Post #28 - January 15th, 2012, 9:38 pm
    bean wrote:
    I'm considering trying to grow wing beans in the garden this summer. Has anyone tried this?


    I'd be willing to try, though it seems it might do better in a warmer climate.

    Do you have a reasonable source for seeds?



    Intrigued by a vegetable that I have never seen before, I did a little research on them. While the seeds are readily available, the plant appear to be day length sensitive for production and do not really produce until daylight is decreasing in late summer to early fall. I saw some discussion of potentially day length neutral selections but did not follow up. Seems like the gardeners with the most success are in zones 8 and mostly 9.
  • Post #29 - April 16th, 2012, 8:39 pm
    Post #29 - April 16th, 2012, 8:39 pm Post #29 - April 16th, 2012, 8:39 pm
    A recent ground chicken thigh larb:
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    I've also been really into variations of pomelo salad. I've been using the coconut milk/nam prik pao/palm sugar/fish sauce/lime dressing (used for wing bean and banana blossom salads) even though I'm pretty sure it's not traditional with the pomelo.

    Pomelo,chicken salad, coconut, shallot
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    Pomelo with chicken, shrimp, thai basil, coconut, topped with crispy shallots
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  • Post #30 - April 17th, 2012, 4:02 pm
    Post #30 - April 17th, 2012, 4:02 pm Post #30 - April 17th, 2012, 4:02 pm
    To grind the dried shrimp in some recipes...I do not have a coffee or spice grinder. Can you use a mini cuisinart or a bullet type chopper?
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare

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