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Recipe from: Colonel I.F. Khuntilanont-Philpott
Salads are extremely common in Thailand, accompanying most meals. However most of them are casual affaris, and most do not have a western style dressing; rather the diners use whichever of a variety of dips take their fancy. However a few 'formal' salads do exist, largely as accompaniments to formal dinners, and this one, which could be translated as "great salad" is a typical example.
The actual salad is not particularly important: any suitable mixture of veggies could be used, hence the more usual translation as chef's salad.
However a typical mixture is as follows:
Chinese lettuce (or other broad leafed veggie) to form a base for the salad bowl
½ cup of onion, sliced
½ cup of tomato wedges
½ cup of cucumber, sliced
½ cup prik chi fa (Thai jalapeños), julienned
½ cup of broccoli florets, blanched
½ cup of bean sprouts
Line a serving bowl with the lettuce leaves, then toss the other ingredients and place on the lettuce, garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves, lime leaves, thinly sliced shallots, and julienned spring onions.
½ cup of lime juice
¼ cup of peanuts
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or nam makham piag (tamarind juice)
2 tablespoons nam tan paep (palm sugar)
1 tablespoon prik ki nu daeng haeng (dried red chilis), ground
1 tablespoon khao kua
In a dry skillet or wok toast the peanuts until light golden brown, allow to cool and crumble (a few sharp blows with the flat of a cleaver should suffice, and avoid turning them into peanut butter, as the use of a food processor is inclined to).
Toast 2 tablespoons of uncooked long grain rice (either white or brown, to taste), and then when cool, grind to a coarse powder (khao kua).
Combine the ingredients to form the dressing, and place in a small bowl.
Thai salads are not served 'dressed', this being left to the diners. If available you could also add a few of the different Thai dips (nam prik kiga, nam prik kapi are suitable for vegetables, and can be adapted to vegetarian/ vegan life styles without serious loss of authenticity).