One of my favorite places to visit is Santa Fe, New Mexico. I love everything about it…the culture, the art, the shopping, and most of all THE FOOD! One of my favorite things to do while I’m there is to take in one of Chef Johnny Vee’s cooking classes. The classes are “hands on” cooking and LOTS OF FUN! Yes, as expected, he does teach lots of “New Mexican” style cooking, but he also has classes on many other different foods from around the world. On one particular trip, he was teaching a Thai cooking class that I just had to take. The food we cooked was fantastic, and here is one of my favorite recipes from that class. I love the flavors of the sweet vs hot mixed with the chopped peanuts! Be warned….thai chilies are VERY hot! Keep that in mind as you start chopping and adding them to this salad.
Thai Cucumber Salad
Chef Johnny Vee, Santa Fe, NM
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup golden brown sugar or white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large cucumbers, English/hothouse
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- 6 small Thai red chiles or serrano chiles, finely chopped (or to taste)
- ½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, finely chopped
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, including stems, roughly chopped
Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Cook for 1 minute at a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add lime juice and fish sauce. Cool to room temperature.
When ready to serve, peel cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and cut the halved cucumbers crosswise into thin slices. Place the cucumbers, chilies, peanuts and cilantro in mixing bowl. Pour the cooled vinaigrette over relish ingredients just to cover and mix gently. Store the remaining vinaigrette in a tightly covered glass container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.