As you might have already been able to tell, I’m not the biggest veggie fanatic. And neither is Peter (we like cheese and meat, is that such a crime?!). But I do know it’s important to incorporate vegetables into our diet and living in Asia has really made me appreciate fresh vegetables even more.
I love going to the wet markets in Hong Kong and throughout Southeast Asia and seeing the fresh produce piled high. Contrary to the US where you can go to a one-stop grocery shop and pick up everything you need, you’ll rarely find every vegetable you want at a single market stand. But part of what makes shopping at the market so enjoyable, is getting to walk around and see all the variety. Plus I love seeing produce go in and out of season and coming up with recipes based on what I find available (is it just me or does some produce never seem to go “out of season” in the US?).
One of my favorite markets I’ve seen so far? The Maeklong Railway Market in Bangkok which is developed on and around an active train track (market photos in this post are from Maeklong). Yes, I said, active. When the train comes by a few times a day, all the shops move their goods and pull back their canopies for the train to pass just inches away from their noses.
With this Spicy Thai Salad you can use a variety of veggies – carrots, cucumber, lettuce, kale, sprouts, green papaya, whatever you have on hand and whatever is in season. Chop them all up and toss them in the light, but flavorful spicy Thai dressing and you’ve got yourself a salad that even I often crave.
That’s right, me craving a salad. Peter even gobbled it up quite quickly and happily.Since this salad is so easy to put together, you have no excuses for not meeting your vegetable quota for the day.
At home I use 2 bird’s eye chilies to make it nice and hot, but if you’re feeling timid, feel free to just use 1 chili and remember that the seeds add a lot of spice, so the less seeds you add, the less heat you’ll have. Although I also find that the spicier the dressing is, the less oil you may need (if that is something you are concerned about), although this recipe really only uses a dash of it.
- 1/2 tsp vinegar
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- dash of pepper
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1-2 bird's eye chilies, chopped
- various salad veggies
- 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced/shredded
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced/ shredded
- head of romaine lettuce, chopped
- In a medium bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients (vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil, water, olive oil, pepper, chilies, lime garlic)
- Add carrots, cucumber, lettuce (and any other salad vegetables) to a large bowl
- Pour dressing over vegetables
- Toss until salad is coated with dressing