Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Thai Lemongrass Seafood Salad

We had a lovely sunny day yesterday and that always puts me in the mood for salad.  I had some leftover Steelhead Salmon and some octopus that I needed to use and I didn't feel like making Sunomono (see previous post). I also had some Lemongrass languishing in the vegetable drawer so I decided to make a Thai Salad, but alas I didn't have any limes.  But, I did have lemons.  So I tweaked my traditional Thai salad dressing and came up with this one instead. Of course, the Lemongrass and lemon juice went so well with the seafood. You can use almost any seafood and it would be just as good. This salad has a lovely bright taste and the salad was wonderfully light. Although this dish may not be completely authentic Thai food, it was delicious. In fact, I loved it so much that I had to share it with you!  

Thai Lemongrass Seafood Salad

For Dressing:

½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup Asian Fish Sauce
¼ cup or more sugar
1 Tablespoon Lemongrass (tender front part) finely minced
1 small shallot, cut into small pieces
2 garlic cloves minced
1 small Serrano chili, deseeded and minced finely
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

For Salad:

3 - 4 cups of washed lettuce broken into small pieces
1 cucumber with seeds scooped out, cut in half, again and sliced into small chunks
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
3 green onions cut in small pieces
1 small red pepper - cut into small pieces
8 oz cooked fish (I used Steelhead), cut into small pieces
4 ounces of squid (cut into rings), cooked cut up octopus or cooked small shrimp
Precooked rice noodles (boiled 4 - 5 minutes, drained and rinsed in cold water) - about 1 cup

In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, sugar, fish sauce, lemongrass, shallot, garlic, oil and Serrano chili.  Stir to blend and taste.  Adjust for sweetness

Place noodles on the bottom of the bowl.  Add lettuce, cucumber and red pepper on top.  Place seafood on top of that and then sprinkle with mint and cilantro leaves. Pour dressing over the salad when ready to serve and toss to coat thoroughly and with each serving.  

Five Element Analysis

Seafood always belongs to the Water Element so that element is covered by any variety of fish and shellfish and the Fish Sauce adds even more Water.  The lemon brings in the Wood Element and the Serrano Chili and Red Pepper contribute the Fire Element.  The Metal Element is represented by the Rice Noodles, the garlic, shallot, mint, cilantro and lemongrass.  And, that makes this a completely balanced dish!

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