Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gadzooks-Too Many Cukes! Part 2: Thai-Style Cucumber Salad

One of the funnest parts about cooking for me is looking to other cultures for inspiration. I'm a huge fan of Thai food, and this simple cucumber salad is a good example of why: it explodes with flavor, and couldn't be any easier to make (I think I've got it down to under five minutes, start to finish). The cukes in your garden will vanish after you try this recipe; if you're like me, you'll make it again and again. And again. In fact, if you've got fresh cucumbers in need of a home, I'm currently taking donations. My stash from Aerial has vanished; this salad mostly to blame.

Thai Cucumber Salad
  • 1-2 cucumbers (depending on size), peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Thai basil, chopped (regular Genovese basil does the trick as well)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Chopped peanuts (optional)
Add cucumbers, onion, basil and cilantro to a big bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar and chili flakes (you can double the ingredients if you're making a big salad, but a little of the dressing does go a long way). Pour the dressing on to the cucumber mixture and toss. Serve garnished with chopped peanuts.

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