Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thai courgette and beansprout salad

This is a very bastardised version of a recipe which appears in David Thompson’s Thai Food (Pavillion, 2002). This is a brilliant if slightly daunting book which I was given shortly after Carmela was born and, with two kids under the age of 2, I wasn’t really in the mood for adventures in the kitchen. (It was hard enough to empty the dishwasher without one of them crawling into it.) Now I’ve finally got round to using it, I love the way it really explains techniques and how things should look and taste. (He often ends a curry paste description with comments like “it should taste both hot and sour”. May sound vague, but when you’re cooking it, it makes sense.) It’s also not too pernickety about measurements – there are lots of ‘handfuls’ and ‘any two vegetables from the following list’.

3 medium-sized courgettes
200g of beansprouts
1 clove of garlic
pinch of salt
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 teaspoons of chilli sauce
½ teaspoon of sugar

  1. Wash the courgettes, steam them whole until just done (about 10 minutes or so), allow to cool, then cut into thickish slices (about 1 cm thick). Steam the beansprouts for a minute or two until just done. Put the courgettes in a bowl and sprinkle the beansprouts on top.
  2. Peel and squash the garlic clove, then mash it into a smooth paste with the salt using a pestle and mortar. Add the lemon juice, fish sauce, chilli sauce and sugar and mix. Pour the dressing over the courgettes and beansprouts, and mix well.

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