Friday, June 24, 2011

Cucumber Salad (Yum Tang Gwa)

Thai Translation – Yum = Spicy Salad; Tang Gwa = Cucumber

Cucumbers are abundant and nutritious vegetable that are also a great option to have with anything spicy because of their cooling, watery taste. Thai food is often served with a few slices of cucumber to help cool a spicy mouth and it is also used in many dipping sauces to add a depth to the flavours. This is a dish that is commonly served with satay or other meat skewers to compliment the more subtle flavours of the barbeque meat. It can also be served as an entree salad to freshen the pallet before eating a thick curry or other strong flavoured dish.

Cooking Time: 5 min
Preparation Time: 10 min

Serves 2

2 lebanese cucumbers or one large cucumber
¼ cup of fresh coriander leaves
1/3 cup of raw unsalted peanuts or raw unsalted cashew nuts.
2 tbsp of lime juice
2 tsp of palm sugar or brown sugar
1 – 2 chilli's (depending on your own taste)
1 small red onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. of fish sauce (NOTE: Vegetarians can substitute light soy sauce for fish sauce)

  1. In a medium sized bowl combine the lime juice and sugar and mix well until the sugar is dissolved. Finely chop the coriander leaves and the chilli. Add this to the lime and sugar mix and stir well to combine.
  2. Wash and slice your cucumbers in half. Remove the seeds from the centre of the cucumber and set aside. Thinly slice the remaining cucumber, plus the red onion. Add both the cucumber and the onion to the bowl containing the lime and chilli mixture.
  3. Stir the mix well, add a pinch of salt and pepper and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to distribute the liquid.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the raw nuts and toast well, ensuring you stir the nuts so they do not burn. Once browned, remove from heat and chop roughly. Set aside.
  5. In the same pan, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat. Add the garlic that has been diced and cook quickly, moving it all the time so the garlic doesn't burn. Take off the heat when well cooked and crispy and drain on paper towel.
  6. When you are ready to serve your salad, gently mix in the chopped peanuts, garlic and fish sauce. Season and serve.

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