This Thai Cucumber Carrot Salad is a North American version of the famous Thai salad known as Som Tai. Traditionally made with green papaya this version uses readily available cucumber and carrot. They give the salad its’ desired crunchy texture and the sauce, made with lime juice and fish sauce, makes it uniquely Thai.
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Thai cooking is all about the balance…sweet and sour with hot and salty. The dishes are all served together and complement each other in a harmonious layering of flavour upon flavour. Typically diners combine any of the dishes and condiments on their own plate to achieve the desired taste.
In North America we tend to increase the amount of a main dish When feeding a large crowd Thai cooks simply add more dishes increasing the possibilities for more unique flavour combinations. This Thai Cucumber Carrot Salad is a perfect example. The sharp tang of the salad provides a wonderful contrast to the richness of a creamy Thai curry. Serve it as part of any Thai meal and it shines.
If you enjoy Thai food you simply need to buy fish sauce. It is most often gluten free and is essential in both Thai and Vietnamese cooking. I’ve heard from people in the United States that they have seen fish sauce with added wheat so always read the label. To learn more about this essential ingredient check out this post, Gluten Free Fish Sauce.
I encourage you to make this salad as a part of your next Thai meal. If you are ready to create a Thai feast I posted a Thai menu here, Gourmet Dinner Club – Thai menu, with links to all the recipes.
Let me know in the comments below if you tried this recipe and what you thought.
From time to time I write a travel post for my friend Sue over at Travel Tales of Life. This is the one I wrote about our trip to Thailand many years ago.
|1 garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste|
|2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)|
|1½ Tbsp fish sauce|
|1 Tbsp sugar|
|1 Thai bird chile (or jalapeno or serrano chile) sliced, seeded if you want less heat|
|2 long English cucumbers, quartered lengthwise|
|1 carrot, coarsely shredded|
|OPTIONAL - soft-leaf lettuce for serving|
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