This salad is not just a salad. It's everything. Am I being dramatic? I am. But keep scrolling and you'll see what I mean.
This salad is something so special. With a soft-spot for Thai flavors, I've eaten my fair share of this traditionally heavy, salt-laden dish in the past and yea, its amazing. But I would argue that THIS is almost better. My take on raw Pad Thai has the same flavor profile as it's noodley-counterpart but it's fresh, crunchy and leaves me feeling light and energized.
If you follow my blog, the sauce recipe should look familiar to you as I have shared it a few times. Usually I make it with powdered peanut butter or tahini but I really love this almond butter variation.
This is the perfect way to use up all the veggies in the back of your fridge, or your new CSA box or to try something new you see at the farmers market with minimal risk (it's covered in bomb-ass sauce after all). It is slightly labor intensive with all that julienne peeling and chopping but it is SOOO worth it.
P.S- Do not skip the addition of raw corn here! It's a summer staple that adds a really refreshing hint of sweetness!
Give this nutrient-rich, full-flavor salad a try and let me know how you think it stacks up to the original Pad Thai!
Serves: 2 'dinner' size portions • Prep Time: 30 minutes
FOR THE SALAD
- 1 medium zucchini/summer squash, julienned
- 2 large carrots, julienned
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 cup thinly sliced green/Napa cabbage
- 3/4 cup raw corn kernels
- 3/4 cup raw veggies of choice, julienned or thinly sliced (celery root, asparagus, beets, jicama, etc.) *optional
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp. mint, chopped
Julienne, spiralize and/or chop your clean veggies and herbs. Add them all to a large bowl suitable for tossing. A julienne peeler (linked about) makes light work of this task.The goal is the get a diverse range of textures just like in a traditional noodle-based Pad Thai so opt for a few different methods when it comes to slicing your veggies.
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1/4 cup unsalted almond butter or tahini (for a nut-free option)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp. coconut aminos OR Bragg's liquid aminos
- 2-4 tbsp. water (depending on how thin your almond butter is)
- 2-3 tsp. maple syrup (or other sweetener)
- 1/2" knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1" piece of lemon grass *optional
- 1-2 tsp. sriracha or other asian-style chili sauce *optional
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high til well combined. Sample and adjust seasonings to taste. Stores well in a glass container in the fridge for well over a week.
NOTE: This dressing will thicken slightly as it sits but you can always stir in more acid (lime juice) or water to thin in out.
PRO-TIP: I like to make a double (or even triple) batch of this sauce. The recipe above makes just as much as you need for these two salads BUT it can be tricky to get that small of an amount blending in a conventional size blender. Making more than enough of this is great because you can always store it in the fridge to use on salads later in the week, or to add to a nourishing and warm rice bowl. Although, if you have a nutri-bullet or something similar, whipping up a small batch should be a breeze.
- Sprinkle of cilantro and mint
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 1-2 tablespoon chopped dry roasted pumpkin, almonds, cashew or pistachio
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Right before you're ready to serve toss the dressing through the veggies. You may want to reserve a bit of the dressing (for dipping) or if you don't like a lot of sauce.
Garnish with chopped nuts, seeds, herbs and black sesame for an authentic look.
PRO-TIP: Be sure to toss just dressing into the veggies right before you serve. The acid in the sauce will break down the thinly sliced veggies over time and NO ONE likes a mushy raw pad thai. Make note of this if you are prepping salad for the week!
*recepie inspired and informed by Oh She Glows!