Thai Cucumber Salad
When it’s as warm as it has been lately (our temperature gauge recorded a whopping 37 degrees yesterday), the heat tends to suppress the appetite and I long for something light which will do it’s best to cool me down. For breakfast my fruit salad is a good option but as a light starter or simple side order then this Thai Cucumber Salad will deliver the goods.
It is National Vegetarian Week after all, so why not pay tribute by preparing a salad this week? This dish is a departure from the normal unadventurous salads that frequently appear on restaurant menus. I am putting this forward as an entry for two challenges:
1) Lisa’s “Faceless Food” Blog for her Britain’s Got Salad Campaign.
2) Karen’s “Herbs on a Saturday” challenge over on Lavender and Lovage as it contains a plentiful supply of coriander. I use coriander with abundance; whether it be the leaf, steam or root . And while there are those that liken it to a soapy taste, I use it generously in several of my dishes.
A few random facts about coriander:
- While it was known to me that coriander is often called Cilantro in the Americas, here in Hong Kong it is called Chinese Parsley! Who knew?
- Coriander stem and leaves is said to contain anti-oxidants which preserve or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with it.
- Coriander has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iran.
- Chemicals derived from coriander leaves were found to have antibacterial activity against Salmonella choleraesuis.
Ingredients for Thai Cucumber SaladPrep Time: 15 minutes
Serving Size: Starter for 1, Side Order for 2
- For the Salad
- A generous handful of coriander with the stems and leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 red chilli pepper, sliced (remove seeds if you do not like it spicy)
- A handful of chives
- 2 generous tablespoons of roasted peanuts, chopped For the Salad Dressing
- 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of white sugar
- 3 stalks of lemongrass with top, bottom and outer skin removed and thinly sliced
- A sprinkle of salt
- Cut the cucumber lengthways and remove the pips from the center using a teaspoon.
- Chop the remaining cucumber into 1/4 inch slices.
- Place the sugar, salt, sliced lemongrass and vinegar in a blender and pulse until all constituents are sufficiently blended. The lemongrass should be very fine.
- Arrange the coriander, chives and cucumber in a bowl.
- Add the sliced chilli.
- With the dressing, spread liberally and toss the salad.
- Garnish with the crushed roasted peanuts.
What type of salad do you like to have as as a starter?