Unique and sensuous - that's the only way to describe this tantalizing Thai salad! Roses are one of the most luxurious and delicious of edible flowers, and they make this dish especially beautiful, not to mention very gourmet. At the same time, this is an easy salad to put together. Create culinary waves by serving it at your next dinner party, or make it for your loved one for Valentine's Day. Both chicken and shrimp may be added (or just choose one of these protein sources). Star fruit and a final sprinkling of rose petals adds an exotic touch to this most exquisitely romantic of salad recipes!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: SERVES 2 as a Dinner Salad
- 2 roasted chicken breasts, shredded, OR 2 uncooked chicken breasts, OR 3-4 chicken thighs or drumsticks
- approx. 1 cup cooked fresh shrimp, OR 1 cup fresh raw shrimp
- 1 cucumber, sliced lengthwise into matchstick-like pieces
- 1 cup fresh coriander, lightly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, lightly chopped or shredded
- 3 spring (green) onions, sliced lengthwise into matchstick pieces
- 1 star fruit
- 2-3 roses (different colors make the salad more interesting), preferably in full bloom
- 1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, left whole or lightly chopped
- SALAD DRESSING:
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (available in the Asian section of most large supermakets)
- juice of 1 whole fresh lime
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-3 tsp. chili sauce, OR 1-2 fresh minced red chilies (seeds removed) - depending on how spicy you want your salad
To make a Vegetarian version of this salad, go to: Vegetarian Rose Petal Salad.
- If using uncooked chicken: Simply toss the chicken with 2-3 Tbsp. soy sauce, cover, and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. When cooked, shred or cut the meat into strips.
- To quickly cook raw shrimp: Place shrimp in a pot of boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes, then remove from heat and drain. Be sure to remove the shells.
- Make the salad dressing by mixing all dressing ingredients together in a cup. Do a quick taste-test (look for a balance of salty, sour, sweet, and spicy). Add a little more sugar if too sour, or a little more lime juice if too salty.
- To clean the roses: Fill a bowl or pot with cool, soapy water (you can use vegetable wash or a drop or two of dish soap). Plunge the head of the first rose into the soapy water and gently swish around. Then rinse under the tap (use cool or cold water), and gently shake to dry. Repeat with the second rose.
- Peel off the rose petals, starting from the outside of the rose and working toward the center. If your roses are very large, you may not need all the petals (3/4 to 1 loose cup is enough).
- Prepare and slice the star fruit. For more on how to prepare star fruit, see my How to Prepare Star Fruit.. Include about half the star fruit in your salad - save the rest for eating or juicing.
- Place all salad ingredients - except star fruit and rose petals - in a large bowl. Stir the salad dressing and pour it over, then toss.
- Now add most of the rose petals and star fruit and gently toss or fold in. Reserve some of each for garnishing.
- Transfer salad to a serving platter, or scoop into individual salad bowls. Top with reserved rose petals and star fruit slices, and ENJOY this beautiful Thai salad!