Who knew I’d fall in love with a pineapple salad?
Last week I conned my bestie into taking a Cambodian cooking class with me at Brooklyn Kitchen.
The Accidental Locavore did it mostly because I had no clue what Cambodian cooking was all about.
Had never eaten it.
Or cooked it.
It’s like its neighbors Vietnam, Thai, Laos, and uses the five tastes that are essential to that part of the world – sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami.
One of our favorite dishes was this pineapple salad. It makes a big bowl of salad, depending on the size of your pineapple.
Cambodian Pineapple Salad
- 1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1” chunks
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 cucumber, peeled and julienned
- ¼ cup mint leaves, sliced thin
- ½ bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped (include stems)
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 2 scallions, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- Zest and juice of 1 lime and 1 lemon
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Thai or serrano chile, thinly sliced
- 1/2” piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- ¼ cup grapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon sambal sauce (or Sriracha)
Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a small container with a (tight) lid. Shake to combine. Taste and adjust the lemon, fish sauce and chile to taste.
Pour over the salad, toss, serve and enjoy!
I guess it’s time to change (or open my mind) about sweet ingredients with savory ones. This pineapple salad is a perfect example. It’s not something I would normally make, but it was my favorite dish of the class! The dressing would be good on all kinds of things, like chicken, fish or shrimp.
As a matter of fact, everyone at my table thought the whole thing would make a wonderful ceviche!
You can add or remove almost any ingredient. I’d add basil, especially Thai Holy Basil if I came across some. The salad we had in class had red and green peppers, I’m not a huge fan, so left them out of my version. Mango could easily replace the pineapple–you get the idea. Have fun!
I made it and brought it to a Slow Food Hudson Valley meeting and everyone loved it, guess this is a keeper.