My 7 year old, Rowan, literally begs for this salad and in fact, we all love it so much that sometimes I’ll even make it to accompany whatever else we might be eating for breakfast – it’s THAT good!
Now that I’m back to shooting cooking demos, I asked Rowan what he thought I should make during a recent shoot – and of course cucumber salad was his request. Rowan also makes a guest appearance in this demo as my helper. This recipe comes straight from Everyday Paleo Thai Cuisine – and I hope you enjoy! I loved writing this book and all the recipes are straight from the source and absolutely delicious!!!!
Spicy Cucumber Salad
Som Tum Taeng Lao
A cousin to the papaya salad, som tum taeng lao is a great way to turn cucumbers into a refreshing, spicy, cool, tangy, and just a little sweet, dish that is a staple of Thai cuisine. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, you can use a food processor to make the dressing.
Prep time: 20 minutes Serves: 2 to 3
1-3 small Thai red chiles
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons cashews
2 tablespoons dried shrimp (optional)
4 cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 small cucumbers, julienned (or sliced in your food processor)
Cilantro, for garnish
- Using a wooden mortar and pestle, pound together the chiles and garlic until they start to make a paste.
- Add the maple syrup, cashews, and shrimp to the chile mixture and continue to mash together until the nuts are broken down.
- Add the tomatoes, fish sauce, lime juice, and vinegar to the mixture. Alternate stirring with a spoon and gently mashing with the pestle until the tomatoes are slightly mashed.
- Add the cucumber to the mixture and gently stir and mash for another minute, or until the juice from the cucumber is released and mixes with the other ingredients. Alternatively, you can place the cucumbers in a bowl and pour the dressing from the mortar and pestle over the cucumbers and stir to coat.
- Serve garnished with cilantro.