Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: SERVES 4 as a Side Dish
- 1 English Cucumber, peeled
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 loose cup fresh coriander/cilantro, lightly chopped
- optional: 1/2 loose cup fresh basil, lightly chopped
- 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, ground, lightly chopped, or left whole
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian food stores)
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1-2 tsp. Thai chili sauce OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or dried crushed chili (to taste)
- 1+1/2 to 2 tsp. sugar
- Cut cucumber in half lengthwise, then continue slicing lengthwise until you have about 8 long strips. Now slice strips the other way to create bite-size rectangular chunks. Place in a salad bowl.
- Add red pepper, green onion, fresh herbs, and peanuts to the salad bowl.
- Combine the dressing ingredients together in a cup, stirring to dissolve the shrimp paste and sugar. Taste-test for a sweet-sour balance, adding more sugar if it's too sour for your taste. Tip: noe that the dressing will taste salty and pungent now, but will be perfect once it is combined with the salad.
- Pour dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.
- To serve, transfer salad to a serving platter or bowl. Top with a little more coriander, basil, and peanuts. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours if making ahead of time.
- To make this dish into a main course, add 1 cup cooked shrimp.
- Note that the longer this salad sits, the more liquid will gather at the bottom of the bowl or plate (some of this is juice from the cucumber - the rest is the dressing). If you want to make it ahead of time, just be sure to re-toss the salad before serving. This salad is best eaten up the same day you make it. ENJOY!