There’s not a huge step from a chopped salad to a cole slaw, to be honest. I’m not a big fan of cole slaw – at least not the stuff made with gunky mayonnaise or vinegary salad cream – but I love a Thai chopped salad. You can use almost any vegetables – mange touts work really well, as does Chinese leaf – the recipe below is based on the ones I’ve had in Thai restaurants. It excludes one of the ingredients that makes the restaurant version so delicious: fish sauce. A little bit of kimchi liquid and a teaspoon of sugar could probably simulate the flavour, but that’s a little more involved. Not everyone has kimchi.
The trick to getting this salad right is to slice everything very finely. You can shred it with a grater (not a super-fine one) but I chop it. Grated vegetables are too thin for this, I think, and get too vet.
If you make a lot, and want to store it, don’t dress it. Instead serve the dressing on the side. Dressing adds acidity and moisture to the salad which can affect the veg and make them sad.
Serves: 4 as a side. Prep: 20-30 minutes. Cooking time: 0 minutes.
Stores: For a couple of days in the fridge, as long as the dressing is kept separate.
- Chopping board
- Salad bowl
- Lemon squeezer
- Small bowl for dressing
- 1-2 carrots
- 1 courgette
- 0.25-0.5 small cabbage (white or red)
- 1 pepper (any colour)
- 4-6 spring onions
- 1 red chilli (optional)
- 0.5 fennel (optional)
- Handful of coriander (optional)
- Juice of one lemon
- As much soy as you get lemon juice from the lemon 9usually somewhere around 4 tablespoons)
- Finely shred the vegetables and herbs.
- Put each vegetable in a bowl as you go along.
- When all the chopping is done, mix. Hands are fine.
- Make the dressing: squeeze the lemon, mix in equal amounts of soy sauce.
- Make it all green: use beans, mange touts, green peppers, lettuce, coriander and blanched kale.
- Play with the dressing: add fresh chopped ginger, chilli, lime and a sliver of sesame oil for quite a different flavour.