Updated: Jun 23, 2021
I have been in the mood for some light salads, especially those with a touch of protein. This salad also has a pop of spice and flavor.
Although Thai cuisine is known for curries, there are lots of beautiful greens available in the market, like Thai basil, coriander root, sawtooth herb and others. These greens and herbs are used in elaborate salads like this one. This salad is a mix of textures and flavors that come together beautifully. The bean thread noodles are layered with garlicky ground lamb (instead of pork that is not available here), roasted mushrooms, crunchy lettuce and cucumbers, and finally doused in a tangy, spicy dressing. This salad usually is a meal by itself. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients, this is a simple recipe with just some prep and few cooking steps. This was the first cookbook I bought by Naomi Daguid, and was immediately transported to wonderful meals at small tables across Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. A wonderful collection of recipes in a beautiful, coffee-table cookbook, mine stays in the kitchen! There are tons of recipes to explore, and lots of anecdotes and stories to tie the cuisine to the land and culture. One of my favorite cookbooks!
For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.
1 lb mushrooms, oyster if available, or white or brown button mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 lb ground pork, or lamb or chicken
Salt to taste
1 pack, 3 oz., cellophane noodles
2 scallions, sliced into 1/2 inch lengths
1 cup cilantro,
1 cucumber, semi peeled and cut into small dice
Salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing:
4-5 tablespoons lime juice
A few drops fish sauce
1 red chili, halved, deseeded and thinly minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
To make the dressing:
‘Combine all the ingredients and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour. The longer this dressing sits the better and spicier it gets. Taste, it should be sour, have a touch of sweet and lots of spice.
To make the salad:
If using oyster mushrooms, lay seperate them a bit and lay them on a lined baking sheet and spray with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Broil in the oven for about 8 minutes and flip if needed. The mushrooms should have crisped and cooked through. If using oyster mushrooms, seperate and cut the tough bases off.
Cook the cellophane noodles as per the instructions on the package. Set aside.
Add the oil to a shallow wide pan and sauté the garlic till lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the ground meat and salt and break up with a spatula. Sauté on medium high heat till lightly browned and caramelized and crisped. You should continuously break up the crumbles till you have a uniform fried meat.
To assemble the salad, place the lettuce at the bottom of individual salad bowls. Add the noodles at the bottom, layered by the hot sizzling meat, the mushrooms, cucumbers. Sprinkle the minced cilantro and place a few wedges of lime. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.