Thai Shrimp and Cucumber Salad

When the weather is warm, I love having salads. Okay, I take that back. I love salads in winter too. Thai salads are my weakness. When I visit Thailand every year, I have som tum (papaya salad) or yum ta krai (lemongrass salad) or yum pla dook fu (catfish salad) every day that I’m there. The spicier, the better, because it all gets washed down with a cloyingly sweet Thai milk tea.

Today was especially warm in Melbourne. It’s days like these that I love having salads for lunch and ice cream for dinner.

When I make Thai salads, the dressing is always the same. Sometimes when I crave a Thai salad, I work backwards – I make the dressing first (fresh lime juice, sugar, fresh hot chilies, and fish sauce), then look around for whatever ingredients to throw in – woon sen (glass noodles), cucumbers, fresh beans, minced pork, grilled beef… This dressing base is really quite versatile.

I threw this dish together after remembering seeing this on Chez Pim. Quite honestly, as long as your ingredients are good, there’s no way this will end up not tasting great. When winter comes, I’ll do what Pim suggests and add an egg to the salad to bulk it up.

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