This refreshing salad is often found on Thai menus, where it's a palate-soothing accompaniment to highly seasoned Thai curries and barbecue. The pleasing combination of flavors makes this salad perfect buffet fare, especially in the summertime. If they're available, use seedless English (hothouse) cucumbers. You can substitute pepperoni or spicy Cajun andouille sausage for the Chinese sausage; it won't be the same, but it will still be good. Sometimes I like to chill the cucumber slices and prepare the dressing first, then add the sausage slices to the mixture while they're still very hot. The contrast between the icy cucumber and piping-hot sausage gives the salad an authentic flavor.
2 Chinese sausages
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup cold water, or more if needed
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (sambal oelek)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced,
or 3 medium regular cucumbers, peeled,
seeded, and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, sliced lengthwise (top to bottom)
Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Place the sausages on a rack on a broiler pan and broil, turning every so often, until the skin is lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Let them cool, then cut them on the diagonal into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside.
3. Place the lime juice, 1/3 cup water, the sugar, fish sauce, chili-garlic sauce, and garlic in a large bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Taste and add more water if the dressing is too tart.
4. Add the cucumber, onion, and sliced sausage to the dressing in the bowl and toss to coat. Arrange the salad on a platter or in a shallow bowl, garnish with the cilantro sprigs, and serve immediately.
Staff Meals from Chanterelle
By David Waltuck and Melicia Phillips
Workman Publishing Company, December 2000
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created May 2001
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