Don’t let this simple looking salad fool you, it is boldly flavored with the same ingredients as Nuoc Cham, that wonderful sweet, sour, salty, spicy sauce that you use as a dip for vietnamese spring rolls.
To get the right texture and crunch, cut the vegetables into tiny dice…1/4 inch for the red bell pepper and the cucumber and even smaller for the carrot. And you choose the combination of herbs and the amount of heat that you want.
Note that there is no oil in the dressing for this salad. This keeps the whole dish cool and light and perfect as a side for any grilled meat, fish or seafood…especially those with an asian flair. Another option would be to add a bit of roasted chicken to this quinoa, serve of a bed of lettuce and make it a meal.
Thai Quinoa Salad
for the salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Small red bell pepper (cored and cut into 1/4 inch dice)
- 1 Small cucumber (cut in half, seeds scraped out, then cut into 1/4 inch dice)
- 1 carrot (peeled and cut into 1/8 inch dice)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, cilantro or mint (or a combination of any of these herbs)
for the dressing
- 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- red pepper flakes (to taste)
||Rinse the quinoa under cold water then add to a medium saucepan with the salt and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until water is absorbed and quinoa in tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes then remove cover, stir and let cool completely. |
||In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and sugar until sugar ins dissolved. Stir in the fish sauce and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. |
||In a large bowl, combine the quinoa with the chopped red bell pepper, carrot and cucumber and mix well. Add the dressing and toss. Gently mix in the fresh herb or herbs of your choice. Taste for seasoning and serve. |