As we prepare ourselves for the hottest time of the year, and the Songkran Festival, light salads are the order of the day.
Not only are they lighter and more refreshing than a heavy meal in scorching conditions, but they are a healthy alternative to some of the typical expat dishes that many of us have become more accustomed to.
Of course, there are plenty of great Thai salads that you can enjoy such as Papaya Salad (Som Tam) and the various spicy Larb dishes that many of us enjoy tucking into but there are the classics that you can get anywhere in the world and taste simply great here in Thailand too. We have included some information about the various versions to wet your taste buds and get you thinking about the healthy meals during the hot season.
Papaya Salad or Som Tam is the dish of choice for many Thais and is readily available from street vendors as well as most restaurants around the city. Made from unripe papaya, it is usually mixed with garlic, chilli, beans, brined crab, tomato, lime and fish sauce. Many westerners find it an acquired taste.
Larb often spelt Laab, is another of the spicy Thai salads with this one originating from Northern Thailand. It is made with mince meat such as pork, chicken, duck or beef, blended with mint, herbs and other fresh vegetables. In parts of the country, it is served raw although this isn’t advisable.
What can you say about a chef’s salad? A chef’s salad is effectively a salad that includes all the ingredients that the chef wishes to use. Usually a green salad and often includes egg, ham, or tuna. Alternatively, you may feel like preparing this at home, you can get all the ingredients from one of our expat grocers (see page 4).
One of the old favourites, Caesar salad is made on a bed of Romaine lettuce and served with croutons and Parmesan cheese. On some occasions, it may come with egg but usually, it is dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and of course Caesar sauce. In many restaurants, you can order a chicken Caesar salad and indeed you can get an excellent version of this at The Sportsman on Soi 13 Beach Road.
Another one of the simple salads that come with many variations. Egg salad is once again usually a green salad with onion and tomato obviously topped with a sliced boiled egg. Frequently, egg and tuna are combined for a tasty salad.
Again, another one of the salads that is quite easy to understand. Often a tuna salad will include beetroot, sweetcorn and carrots to add a little more texture. It is a great dish to have for a lunchtime meal when the sun is baking down. You will find this in most western style restaurants.
An extremely popular salad that originates from France and usually includes tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, olives, anchovies or tuna and dressed with olive oil. To really get a taste of France and to experience this salad, why not give it a whirl at On The Hill – Your French Bistro that can be found on the Pratamnak Hill.
A pasta salad is usually made from a variety kinds of different pastas that have been chilled. Added to this will be a range of vegetables such as tomatoes, onion and peppers along with meats such as pepperoni and cheese. You could order a pasta salad from Door 2 Door who bring it direct to your door after it has been prepared by one the of the fine restaurants in the city.
You can’t beat a great Waldorf Salad prepared fresh in the height of the hot season. The salad is a combination of fruit and nuts, usually, apples and walnuts served on crisp lettuce with celery and grapes. Expect it to be dressed with mayonnaise, you can enjoy this as a light meal at Hemingway’s in Jomtien.
An old favourite, the Greek salad is enjoyed all around the world and is effectively a green salad, with onions, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese all topped with extra virgin olive oil. It is a fabulous dish that is healthy and filling. You could order a Greek Salad delivered to your door by Door 2 Door.