Both Christmas lunch salads were devoured with just a tiny bit left over that the hosts happily kept for themselves.
Here then, are the recipes, as promised. Perhaps you can make one for New Year's Eve!
Thai Green Mango Salad
500g green mango [peeled and grated. NOTE! these are Thai GREEN mangoes, not the usual eating types. You should be able to get them from an Asian/Thai grocer. I wish I had a picture of them, but I forgot to take any.]
1/4 cup shallots [raw, thinly sliced]
7 cloves garlic [raw, peeled and crushed]
1/4 cup basil leaves [preferably Thai basil, roughly chopped]
1/4 cup coriander leaves [roughly chopped]
2 tbsp peanuts [buy them raw, toast them in a pan, then roughly chop them in a food processor]
Put some oil in a pan and fry this lot together, in the order as listed:
1 extra shallot [sliced] and 1 extra clove of garlic [chopped]
200g minced pork or chicken
2 tbsp Thai/Vietnamese fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
Put some oil in a pan and fry these 2 ingredients together:
2 tbsp dried shrimp [from any Asian grocer]
2 bird's eye chillies [the small hot ones! sliced]
Put the grated green mango into a big salad bowl. Add all the other ingredients, 1 at a time.
Top off with the herbs and peanuts.
Toss and mix well. Serve!
In the original recipe, this salad was made to be served with steamed rice. But it'll go down just as well at a barbie.
Please do not be put off by the ingredients list. They're pretty common and easy to get here in Sydney. [Not sure if that'll be the case if you're living in Nova Scotia.]
I learnt how to make this salad after having it a few years ago at a Centennial Park foods market. It was So Good, I had to google the recipe after I got home. There were loads on the internet! I printed one out, made adjustments based on what I'd eaten at the market and hey presto!
WARNING! Under no circumstances should you be kissing anyone after eating this. Not even if they have a whole mistletoe bush hanging over their heads. Of course, you can fry up the garlic and shallots, but why be a woose? They're phenomenal eaten raw! Gargle gargle.
Here's the other salad I made. The one I've never even eaten before.
I would say most people at Christmas lunch enjoyed it. Just this morning, the hostess called to ask for the sauce recipe, so I guess it's good enough to pass on.
As for me, I felt it missed something. I'm not too sure what yet and will ponder the matter further. Perhaps a trip to a Thai restaurant to eat the real thing might help.
Uncle STeve's Thai Carrot Salad
Reproduced here without permission because he's not answering his email, and with some variations [already].
4 medium carrots [grated into long strips]
1/2 bunch mint [roughly chopped. Since it's an Asian salad, I decided to use Vietnamese mint.]
1 bunch coriander [roughly chopped]
1 and a 1/2 cups peanuts [buy them raw, toast them in a pan, then roughly chop them in a food processor]
1+ cups shredded coconut [I suppose fresh would be best but I used the moist pre-shredded type, which I picked up at Woollies.]
1/4 cup sliced raisins
1 chillie [sliced, for garnishing]
1 generous handful of fresh bean sprouts
The dressing, which does NOT have to be pre-mixed:
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4+ cups of Thai sweet-chilli sauce
1 tbsp Asian hot chilli sauce
Put the grated carrot into a big salad bowl. Add all the other ingredients,
1 at a time EXCEPT for the bean sprouts.
When it's just about time to serve, add the dressing. [You can adjust the balance of the lemon juice and chili sauces to your liking at this stage.] Toss and mix well.
Finally, add the bean sprouts. Give it a quick last toss and serve immediately.
NOTE! The world will not end if you add the bean sprouts before Aunty May turns up, but they will get soggy in the bowl and won't taste as nice.
I hope you enjoy making the salads. If you do make them, please drop us a line and tell us how they turn out. If you have any questions, please ask. I'm feeling in a helpful mood, no doubt because I've been imbibing in some red as I type this.
Bon Apetit! :)
[Sorry. I have no idea how to say that in Thai.]
And what about ME?
Some times, I think The Typist gets carried away and forgets whose blog this is.
Here's MY Christmas family lunch story.
This is cousin Ralph. He's my only rellie that turned up.
I don't know why he doesn't look like me. I guess he was not so lucky with the genes.
As usual, I brought my special Christmas lunch.
As usual, cousin Ralph didn't bring anything. So he ended up with 1/2 of mine.
I hope you did too!