Recipe: Salade Cambodgienne From the Kitchen Window column
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Salade Cambodgienne

The Cambodian tuk trey dressing in this salad is light and flavorful. I was always hesitant to try this because of the fish sauce, until Chef Nadsa de Monteiro at The Elephant Walk restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., offered me a modified version for the vegan/vegetarian plate. This recipe is adapted from the Elephant Walk Cookbook by Longteine de Monteiro and Katherine Neustadt (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 1998).

Courtesy of Nadsa de Monteiro
Salade Cambodgienne
Courtesy of Nadsa de Monteiro

Makes 4 servings

1 head, about 2 pounds, green cabbage, cut in half and very thinly sliced

1 cup peeled and shredded carrots

1/2 large onion, very thinly sliced crosswise

1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1/4-inch thickness

1/2 cup mint leaves, loosely packed

1/2 cup Asian basil leaves, loosely packed*

1/2 cup peanuts, roasted and coarsely ground

1/3 cup tuk trey dressing (recipe below)

4 sprigs or more cilantro, chopped for garnish

Crushed chilies or thinly sliced fresh chilies optional for desired heat

In a large salad bowl, toss all the vegetables and herbs together. Set aside a handful of peanuts for garnish, and mix in the rest of the peanuts. Add the tuk trey dressing (recipe below) and toss well. Add a little spice, either crushed red chilies or thinly sliced fresh bird's-eye chilies if desired, and toss to mix well. Serve on large plate and sprinkle with the rest of the ground peanuts. Top with the cilantro sprigs for garnish.

*Available at Asian stores and some specialty markets

Tuk Trey Dressing

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 medium shallot, minced

5 teaspoons lime juice, freshly squeezed

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil and turn off heat. Add sugar and salt and stir to dissolve completely. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. Let cool completely before dressing salad.