THAI PORK SALAD

OUR HOLLYWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD IS CALLED THAI TOWN FOR A REASON.  SOME OF THE BEST THAI-VIETNAMESE FOOD IN THE COUNTRY IS SERVED IN THE TEN BLOCKS OR SO BETWEEN WESTERN AND VERMONT, MOST OF THEM ALONG HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD.  I LOVE THE WAY THESE DISHES MAKE A SMALL AMOUNT OF PROTEIN GO A LONG WAY, OFTEN IN SALADS WHICH ARE HOT, SOUR, SWEET AND SALTY ALL AT ONCE.  YOU CAN RAMP UP THE HEAT BY ADDING MORE OR HOTTER CHILES (SERRANO OR HABANERO).  OR YOU TURN DOWN THE TEMPERATURE BY REMOVING THE LITTLE GREEN DEVILS BEFORE TOSSING.  FISH SAUCE MAY SOUND OFF-PUTTING, BUT IT FUNCTIONS MUCH THE SAME WAY AS ANCHOVIES DO, BY ADDING A SALTY FUNKINESS TO THE DRESSING.  RED ONION IS TAMED BY THE LIME JUICE.  CILANTRO IS DE RIGUEUR, BUT EVERYTHING ELSE IS UP TO YOU.  SUBSTITUTE SHREDDED GREEN CABBAGE FOR LETTUCE.  SAUTE SHRIMP OR SCALLOPS AT THE LAST MINUTE.  I’VE MADE THIS SALAD WITH LEFTOVER CHICKEN, STEAK AND LAMB.  IT’S ALWAYS GOOD.
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