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Thai Cooking in its most simplistic form……salad rolls

Posted on November 22, 2012 by in vegetarian

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Thai Cooking

Thai cooking is so simple and easy and yet most of the students who attend my Thai cooking classes expect something really complicated and  difficult.  If you understand that in Thai cooking the aim is to the get a perfect balance between  3 or 4 fundamental taste senses, sweet, sour, sweet and bitter, then you have learned a lot and Thai cooking will be a breeze!

Thai cooking can be as simple or as difficult as you want to make it. Family meals are normally created around only one dish, like a Green or Red Curry, served with sticky rice. The alternative is rice with a variety of sauces, meats  and  vegetables, the focus on fresh ingredients and to create that perfect balance in every bite. A Thai green curry with pork dumplings is hardly a culinary challenge, yet the flavors are intense and perfectly balanced! I have yet to eat a more delicately balanced soup than a Tom Yum Goong! Wow, every spoonful is  packed with flavor and for me it is the perfect way to detox, way better than the dreaded cabbage soup!

Thai cooking

Thai food is known for its pungent flavor and liberal use of fresh herbs and spices. Common herbs are Thai basil, mint, cilantro (coriander) and lemongrass ( my absolute favorite flavor, I even use it in my Funky Orange Sorbet!) Other authentic or commonly known Thai flavors come from the use of  kafir lime leaves, chilies, ginger, galangal, tamarind, turmeric, garlic, soy beans, shallots, white and black peppercorns. So, now you are well on your way into a wonderful journey of exploring called Thai cooking.

Today however I want to share with you the most simplistic form of Thai cooking. Really, it does not get any simpler than this. No cooking, no baking,  no frying and almost no prepping. Ok, if you think slicing carrots is prepping then yes, you will be prepping food! The secret of serving this meal is to focus on fresh, flavor and texture. Fresh ingredients  with lots of different textures and flavors. Each guest  makes his/her own little salad roll to his/her liking.  You want more chili, you simply add more chili…simple as that.  Of course at the center of this meal is the divine soy dipping sauce. This sauce just brings it all together  and transforms your salad roll to something quite extraordinary!

Thai cooking

So once your table is set with all the different elements of your meal, your work is done and you can just sit down and relax with your guests. Sounds like a good plan to me!

Thai Salad Rolls

Ingredients – depends on how many people you feed

spinach leaves or even cos lettuce will work

salty peanuts

spring onions – sliced thinly

carrots – slice in julienne strips

fresh coriander

bean sprouts

lemongrass – chopped finely

red and green chili – chopped finely

fresh ginger – chopped in matchstix

For the dipping sauce – this is enough for 2 people

125 ml dark soy

1 T honey – we like it rather sweet

1 tsp lime juice

a few drops fish sauce

a few drops sesame oil

1 tsp grated ginger


Place all the different ingredients on plates and in small Thai bowls. Each guest can have their own bowl of dipping sauce and a plate to make their own salad rolls on. This is perfect for a starter before you serve your main course.

Thai cooking

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2 Responses to “Thai Cooking in its most simplistic form……salad rolls”

  1. usha singh 22 November 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    This is such a wonderful idea and like you suggest the perfect starter and wonderful to get guests chatting at the dinner table

    • nerinatimm 22 November 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      Yes, indeed it is, thank you Usha!!

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