I love Thai food... Out of all the ethnic cuisines, this may be... well... at least one of my favorites ;) The combination of sweet and spicy, the fresh flavors, the abundance of vegetables, all contribute to the healthy allure that Thai food has in mind.
Truth be told, though, that when one looks closely into Thai food (especially when restaurant sourced), there's a lot of "interesting" ingredients that go into this food, including (but not limited to), preservatives, MSG, and, of course, fish sauce.
Fortunately, Thai food seems to translates well to the raw domain... Not only There's already recipes that are partially raw, even the cooked ones could, with a little bit of imagination, be translated to a yummy, and often very simple, raw delectable dish.
I've made a version of this dish many times at the Vipassana Meditation center I attend, and it's always been a hit. In this version, I've replaced some of the ingredients with a healthy alternative (e.g: maple syrup for sugar) and have simplified the process by using a Food Processor.
A food processor is a chef's best friend, allowing for fast, efficient and relatively clean prep. Sometimes also referred to as Cuisinart, you can find those puppies used on craigslist.org for as low as $25 (yes... it's true!). Totally worthwhile. However, this salad could also be prepared with a knife and a grater, so get out there and get those veggies...
'Cause here we go... Gimme' that slaw!
SweetN'tangy Thai Slaw (serves 4)
For the salad:
2 medium size carrots
2 small zucchinis
3 cups cabbage, red or white (or both)
2 small gypsy peppers (or 1 medium red-bell pepper)
1 cup raisins
optional: ½ cup cilantro, chopped finely
For the dressing:
¼ cup unrefined sesame oil
¼ cup maple syrup (Grade B preferred)
2 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
1” piece of fresh ginger
optional: 1-2 tbsp dolse flakes (to substitute fish-sauce)
Begin by processing the ingredients...Shred the carrots and zucchinis with your "shredder blade" (or grate them manually) and slice the cabbage with the slicer blade (or cut it thinly by hand). Be sure to use the right tool for the job (see pics)
Remove the core from your peppers and slice them thinly. I love using the gypsy peppers which are low in seeds and are easy to clean, but you can always use a sweet red bell pepper.
Transfer all the ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
Now proceed on to your dressing...Though I love my vitamix, in this small quantity it is best to use a smaller blender ("Bullet" style) for this dressing, or you can chop the garlic and ginger by hand and blend the dressing in a jar or a bowl. Either way, prepare your dressing, and transfer to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Add your raisins and mix well.
And... ah... that's it? YES, IT'S THAT SIMPLE! Easy, Healthy, Raw... Good Food as Nature Has Intended!
TIP: this salad is best marinated overnight, so if you can prepare it a day or so before. It also keeps really well, so it's a good idea to make a large bowl even if you'll be the only one eating it. If you love cilantro, add some before serving, so the flavor would remain fresh and you avoid the soggy marinated herb. For a complete, healthy and crunchy meal, add it to some grain, cooked or kale noodles. And if you wanna get real fancy, you can roll some of the salad in collard or cabbage leaf, or a nori sheet, for a nice little warp action :)
So until we meet again...Enjoy... And Be Nourished!