I must confess that I love Thailand and it is one of my favorite places to visit in the world. The culture and cuisines are divine. The people of Thailand are some of the nicest people, always pleasant and helpful to visitors. This is how I came to love Thai food. I must confess that personally, I enjoy going to Thai restaurants and drinking Thai iced tea. I am not a person that tries to venture into cooking Thai food, because the chefs at restaurants do a fabulous job with the Thai cuisines, why do I need to labor so hard, when I can make reservations and sit down to enjoy a wonderful meal. In South Florida, we have so many great Thai restaurants to choose from, therefore, making reservations is not hard at all.
While reading a recent blog, I came across a wonderful post on the fabulous Food Blog: The Minimalist Baker for “Crunchy Thai Kale Salad”. I was immediately hooked on this salad and just had to make it. What I find impressive the most is how very healthy this salad looks and seems so simple to make. If you are adventurous, and want to impressive the family, this salad is a winner.
You can’t help but fall in love with the Crunchy Thai Kale Salad, after looking at Dana’s awesome Food photography. Dana is a first class food photographer and entrepreneur that is behind the inspiring Food Blog “Minimalist Baker”. She also is an author and fabulous trainer. Dana is a remarkable person that has the golden touch and succeeds at anything she touches. She is one of my favorite blog entrepreneurs.
Now let’s get back to the Crunchy Thai Kale salad. The ingredients for the salad are pretty intense. I almost always deviate from a recipe to make it my own. This allows me to put my own twist on the dish. There are sometimes that I feel you must follow the recipe to the letter, but can just tweak how much or little of the ingredients you add. When you eat the meal, I feel that you enjoy it a little more because you experimented on your own.
The original Thai Salad recipe from the Minimalist Baker includes several ingredients that I do not have or care for. A modified version of the recipe with ingredients that I like include the following items:
- For the Salad:
- 4-5 cups curly kale
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 3 small radishes, thinly sliced (or 1/4 cup sliced red onion)
- 1/4 cup cubed firm tofu
- 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (you’ll have leftover)
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 3-4 Tbsp peanut sauce for topping
- For the Peanut Sauce:
- 1/4 cup salted natural peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2-3 Tbsp brown sugar (maple syrup or honey)
- Juice of half a lime (~1.5 Tbsp)
- 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
- Hot water
- Drain tofu by wrapping in a towel and pressing gently. Let rest for 5 minutes. Then unwrap, cube and toss in 1 Tbsp sesame seeds. If you don’t like raw tofu, you can grill the tofu or bake it in the oven. Be sure to add the sesame seeds afterwards, if you decide to bake or grill the tofu.
- Prepare peanut sauce by whisking all ingredients together except the water. Then add in 1 Tbsp very hot water a little at a time until pourable. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Add kale to a large mixing bowl and drizzle over 1 tsp lime juice and 1/2 Tbsp each toasted sesame oil and honey. Massage with hands for 1 minute to incorporate ingredients and soften the leaves.
- Add kale to serving plate or bowl and top with sliced radishes, carrot and sesame-tofu. Drizzle with peanut sauce and serve immediately.
I have to tell you that the dish is superb. I am not a professional photographer like Dana, therefore, I have no beautiful photos to share. This Crunchy Thai Salad tastes great. It is also kind of healthy.. I did not use much of the Thai Peanut Sauce because it is very good and very fattening.
I would like to thank Dana from the Minimalist Baker, for sharing this awesome easy recipe and gorgeous photos on her blog. The Cruchy Thai Kale Salad is now one of my favorite meals.