12 Refreshing Thai-Inspired Summer Salads
Here are some of our favorite Thai-inspired salads. They're light and refreshing main dish salads, combining fresh veggies (and sometimes fruit) with sweet, tangy, somewhat spicy Thai-inspired sauces and dressings. They're the perfect partner for summer picnics and barbeques.
Thai Beef Salad
This colorful salad brings out the very best of Thai cuisine. Featuring lemon grass, cilantro, mint leaves, lime juice, fish sauce, and spicy chili sauce, it's tangy with a touch sweetness and a little bit of spicy heat. "We love this recipe," says LAGIRL. "It's just like the beef thai salad we order in our favorite thai restaurant."
Thai Rice Noodle Salad
Toss rice noodles with romaine lettuce, red bell pepper, red and green onions, cucumber, garlic, ginger root, jalapeno pepper, and fresh basil and cilantro. "With these noodle bowls, the real clincher is the sauce, and this one is quite good," says Buckwheat Queen. "Delicious."
Raw Pad Thai
Here's a no-noodle pad Thai that loads in the fresh veggies (carrots, cabbage, red bell pepper) and substitutes zoodles for noodles. Yes, long, thin strips of zucchini stand in for the traditional rice noodles. This refreshing, no-cook dish is ready in 30 minutes. "The sauce is delicious," says Griffin. "So even if you don't love veggies, it's an easy way to get them in!"
Thai Noodle Salad
"I love the peanut dressing with the pasta, the crunch of the veggies, and fresh cilantro," says Cajuela. "Takes a fair amount of prep time, but it comes together quickly after that." Says Yakuta Rasheed: "A quick recipe for a salad with an Asian flair that is elegant and good enough for the fanciest party. It's not only a healthy alternative, but tastes fantastic."
Thai Tuna Salad
A fresh, not canned tuna salad with tomatoes, onion, garlic and cilantro, dressed up with a spicy-sweet Thai-style vinaigrette.
Thai Cucumber Salad
"This sweet and tangy summer salad of cucumber, cilantro, and peanuts with just a hint of heat is always a hit at picnics and potlucks," says camp0433. "It doesn't need to be refrigerated and you're pretty much guaranteed to be the only one bringing this dish!" Lighthouse Mom loves it, too. "It's crunchy, sweet, hot, and tangy all at the same time," she says. "And the jalapenos give it just the right kick."
Carrie's Pad Thai Salad
You'll combine rice noodles with tamarind, lime juice, fish sauce, and scrambled egg; and serve it over fresh greens garnished with cilantro, sprouts, and peanuts. It's ready in less than 45 minutes. "Have all the ingredients prepped and ready before cooking," recommends Erica. "It comes together quick!"
Thai-Inspired Confetti Salad
Green beans, tomatoes, and cucumber get the Thai treatment, combining with fresh papaya, Thai (or Serrano) chile pepper, and a sweet and tangy sauce. "Gorgeous, healthy, and delicious," raves J. "The flavors in this salad are phenomenal."
Larb Gai Nikki-Style
Here's a Thai-style salad with ground turkey, mint, basil, and a rice vinegar and fish sauce-based dressing. "Serve with any type of greens or lettuce...romaine, Boston, endives, arugula, etc.," says yobodish. "You can even serve it with rice. I prefer brown."
Thai-Style Rice Salad
"This recipe occurred semi-accidentally," says Tastyeatsathome. "I was studying various Thai recipes and examining the flavors, and went home to stare at my fridge, and out came this recipe. A wonderful condiment to eat with this dish, and many other asian dishes, is Sambal Oelek, a garlic-chili paste you can find in the asian section of most groceries and asian specialty stores. It's quite spicy, and quite tasty."
Thai Shrimp, Chicken, Grapefruit, and Coconut Salad
Shrimp, chicken, grapefruit, and coconut feature in this salad dressed with fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and sugar. "This is my combination of 'Thai Yam Som-O' and a marinated-shrimp and coconut salad I had at Bellagio's," says NUKA1. "If pomelo is available in your area, use it in place of the grapefruit."
Vegetable potstickers are tossed with peanut sauce, water chestnuts, baby corn, straw mushrooms, and egg noodles. "Sooooo tasty," says ralybuch. "I substituted sweet potato noodles for the egg noodles. And I had some leftover chicken that I included. This will be a recipe that will be used again."