Spicy Thai cucumber salad

A nice balance between the heat of the chili flakes and the cool cucumber and fresh herbs.

spicy-cucumber-salad-800x600I often ask the kids to help me come up with ideas for meals.  Sometimes, it bites me back when they come up with weird and wonderful combinations so I spend a week or so researching (a) how to make it and (b) how to make it according to my special stomach.  This was one of those.  Abby had an idea for ‘Asian burgers’.  When I asked her what that meant, she didn’t know!  So I thought I could use some chicken and marinate it in my honey tamari marinade (recipe here) and then top it with some Asian type of salad.  But I didn’t have any ideas about Asian salads …

And then, I took a Thai cooking class and had a great time.  Didn’t have any problems with my food intolerances and I could eat everything we made, without having to substitute.  I love Thai food.  I love the combination of flavors, and the fact that it’s just different to other cuisines that we generally eat. 

This salad is a really nice balance between spicy pepper flakes and cool cucumber and fresh herbs.  I adapted it from the cooking class, just because I didn’t have the original recipes … but this worked really well.  And even the kids loved it with the Asian burgers!

Spicy Thai cucumber salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 6


For the vinaigrette

  • 3 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbs raw sugar
  • 1 small garlic clove minced
  • 3 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes

For the salad

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup cashews


For the vinaigrette

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce and vinegar with sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

For the salad

  1. Thinly slice or grate the vegetables and roughly chop the herbs.
  2. Toss all ingredients (except for the cashews) in a large bowl.
  3. When ready to serve, pour in the vinaigrette and toss together. Sprinkle cashews on top as a garnish.

Recipe Notes

You can also use dried herbs, but the fresh taste so much better!

Adapted from www.surlatable.com


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