Help me pick an entree for a curry dinner
October 18, 2013 3:19 AM   Subscribe

We will be hosting a dinner and the main dish will be a curry (thai red), with rice as a side. I'd like to serve a salad for the entree, but I would like something light and interesting, not just an ordinary mixed greens salad. I am drawing a blank here...

Difficulty: the curry itself is on the heavy side, as it includes shrimps, coconut milk, chunks of sweet potatoes and cherry tomatoes. It's on the mild side of spicy, though.

First I thought of very nice salad I tasted a while ago, which had fresh spinach leaves and dates, but I am not sure it would be a good option before this specific main dish...

Any suggestions are most welcome.
posted by lost_lettuce to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite Thai style salad is Lahp, but it does consist of a decent amount of meat. I recently did a nice one to go along with some roast trout fillets that consisted of:

cooked but unpickled beetroot
Diced apple (we used a tart but not cooking apple with decently crisp flest something akin to a macintosh taste but with more of a firm flesh)
Cooked potato
Watercress and rocket greens

Dressing for 4 adjust as needed:
Juice of half a lime
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 T olive oil
Some fresh herbs (I used dill as it was also on the trout Mint could be nice with a thai style salad)
Some pepper

The beetroot and apple went really nice together and the potato really fleshed it out as a side vs a salad. I think if you wanted you could forgo the potato and just use the beetroot and apple as I find that apples tend to be underutilised in my salads as of late. (As an added bonus everything was taken from the allotment as well (except for the lime, mustard and olive oil) so everything was nice and fresh)
posted by koolkat at 3:33 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thai cucumber salad.
posted by BibiRose at 3:40 AM on October 18, 2013 [8 favorites]

There are a number of ways of doing a Gujarat Carrot Salad, I've linked to one I haven't used personally as that is in a book at home and I can't think of enough of it from memory.
posted by biffa at 3:58 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I came to suggest a ginger carrot salad, like this one. (I've never made this specific recipe so i can't vouch for it. I just wanted to give an example of what I'm talking about.)
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 4:09 AM on October 18, 2013

Papaya salad like this one this
posted by koahiatamadl at 4:35 AM on October 18, 2013 [10 favorites]

Yes to papaya salad (som tum). If you don't have papayas, you could use carrots - similar texture. That's what my parents used to use.
posted by pravit at 4:59 AM on October 18, 2013

Thai salad

Thai carrot slaw

Oriental coleslaw (serve with salad)
posted by dowcrag at 5:53 AM on October 18, 2013

i agree with the cucumber salad. here is one that's just cucumbers and onions (and dressing), without the shellfish.
posted by nadawi at 5:54 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Definitely seconding som tum. Although I would recommend jicama instead of carrot if you can't find fresh green papaya as a substitution. If you can't get either then shredded white cabbage and carrot together will work. If you don't have a big pestle and mortar to pound the papaya then you can use a metal pot and the end of a wooden rolling pin.

Actually any shredded vegetables with fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, peanuts and chilli would pair with your curry.

Alternatively you could make a side dish with cold roasted aubergines, the spinach you mentioned and some of the above condiments. I feel like white rice and leafy salads don't really gel, maybe it is too much a fusion of cultures for my brain. If you are serving the salad as a separate course then larb/lahp/laap would be really good. Use a big wedge of raw cabbage on the side to scoop up the meat.
posted by camerasforeyes at 6:38 AM on October 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

+1 on the green papaya salad. It is one of my favorite salads evar.
posted by scose at 7:22 AM on October 18, 2013

Green Papya Salad a/k/a Tom Sum.

posted by jbenben at 7:45 AM on October 18, 2013

Green papaya salad is great and you can substitute granny smith apples for some of the papaya. Jicama is a great idea too.

Otherwise, Thai Cucumber Salad is perfect.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:04 AM on October 18, 2013

Another vote for Thai cucumber salad. Very light when served with a red curry!
posted by pamspanda at 2:41 PM on October 18, 2013

I love Thai cucumber salad with added jicama for crunch.
posted by quince at 3:54 PM on October 18, 2013

I love this raw beet and carrot salad and I think it could go quite well with a red thai curry.
posted by hannahelastic at 6:07 PM on October 18, 2013

mmmm green mango salad is really lovely
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:15 AM on October 19, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! I went with the Thai cucumber salad as I already had all the ingredients on hand (it was pretty good) , but I'll definitely use some of the other suggestions for future dinners. :)
posted by lost_lettuce at 6:53 AM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

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