Summer

It's Hot to Be Cool Thai-Inspired Cucumber Salad

June 11, 2010
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

I've been on a quest for a while to create a creamy dressing that my husband would enjoy. He has a strong aversion to the tanginess of sour cream and yogurt, products that are linked with cucumbers in many recipes. So silken tofu and coconut milk became the base for this recipe. —Amber Olson

Test Kitchen Notes

Amber Olsen makes a great creamy cucumber salad that is exactly what you need on a hot day. The cool mint plays off the chiles in the dressing very well. The crunchy, spicy peanuts are a terrific touch.
—The Editors

  • Serves 2, with dressing leftover
Ingredients
  • 1 large, cold cucumber, washed, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick slices
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • Thai hot chile oil, to taste
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup rich, creamy cold coconut milk
  • 4 teaspoons minced lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint
  • one 2-inch long Serrano pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 6 large mint leaves, finely julienned
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Place sliced cucumber in a colander over a bowl, sprinkle generously with salt and let sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or the duration it takes you to prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Put peanuts in a bowl and drizzle with the hot chile oil. Toss to coat all the nuts, then grind some nice sea salt over them. Toss again and set aside. Note: if you like really hot flavors, you could also sprinkle the nuts with a bit of cayenne to up the heat.
  3. Put the tofu, coconut milk, lemongrass, lime juice, salt, sugar, chopped mint, and Serrano pepper in a food processor and process until all the ingredients are blended well, scrapping down sides as needed.
  4. Turn the cucumbers out onto paper towels or a dish towel, blot with additional towels until the cukes are fairly dry of excess liquid. Put them in a bowl.
  5. For one cucumber, or two servings, use 1/4 cup of the dressing, toss, then the finely julienned mint leaves and 1/4 cup of the spicy peanuts. Toss again. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for later.
  6. Some options: I think some unsweetened shredded coconut would be nice to add to this, and I can see some finely shredded carrot as a garnish on top of each serving.
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