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Thai-Style Grain Salad with Crunchy Seeds

Thai-Style Grain Salad with Crunchy Seeds

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Grain salads, like this herb-spiked one made with smoky freekeh, come together instantly with leftovers—reason enough to cook off a batch on Sundays.


  • 1½ cups freekeh, semi-pearled farro, spelt, or wheat berries
  • ⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • ⅓ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Cook freekeh in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, 45–50 minutes; drain, shaking off as much water as possible. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.

  • Meanwhile, toast pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat, tossing often, until pumpkin seeds begin to pop and sunflower seeds are golden brown, 5–8 minutes; transfer to a plate and set aside.

  • Whisk lime zest, lime juice, oil, and fish sauce in a large bowl. Add freekeh, onion, 4 scallions, 1 cup cilantro, and 1 cup mint and toss to combine; season with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired.

  • Top salad with more scallions, cilantro, and mint just before serving.

  • DO AHEAD: Salad can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

,Photos by Christina Holmes

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 480 Fat (g) 24 Saturated Fat (g) 3.5 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 57 Dietary Fiber (g) 9 Total Sugars (g) 5 Protein (g) 19 Sodium (mg) 420Reviews Section

This salad is light, fresh and healthy - everything you look for in a salad. A simple green salad turned extraordinary, a must have at your next gathering!

This salad has fresh vegetables, and is combined with a beautiful, lightly spiced Thai inspired dressing.

Thai Salad Ingredients

Fresh veggies are the key to this dish. This Thai salad used a leafy green based, and is then topped with fresh veggies.

  • salad greens
  • Lebanese/Persian cucumber
  • red onion finely sliced
  • red capsicum/red pepper
  • carrot
  • fresh herbs

How to Cut Your Veggies

The methods used to cut the cucumber, carrot and capsicum is called Julienning.

To julienne a vegetable simple means to cut them into match sticks. You want your carrot, cucumber and capsicum to be cut into thin matchsticks for this salad.

How to Make the Thai Dressing

The dressing is the key element of this salad. Without it, the salad is super plan and bland. It brings the Thai flavour to the salad and should not be skipped.

To make the dressing you'll need

  • red chili
  • tamari soy (or soy sauce)
  • coconut sugar, brown sugar or white sugar
  • fish sauce
  • sesame oil
  • lime juice

Combine these ingredients into a jar and shake well, adjusting flavours as you go.

Thai cooking requires a balance of sweetness, saltiness, spice and sourness.

What to Serve Thai Salad With

This salad basically goes with anything, but in particular, pairs really well with light proteins such as salmon.

You could also serve it with beef marinated in a bit of lime juice, chili, tamari soy and sesame oil.

Meals are better in bowl form…AMIRIGHT?

These Spicy Thai Salmon Grain Bowls are easily customizable if you want more or less of an ingredient–you decide!

I like building bowls with a base of hearty whole grains to give me energy that lasts. Grain bowls keep me more satisfied too.

And that’s why I’m so LOVING these Spicy Thai Salmon Grain Bowls right now.

This recipe was created with Thrive ® Algae Oil, an earth friendly oil made from algae.

And the best part is that it has a light, neutral taste that lets the fresh flavors of your food shine through.

Thrive ® Algae Oil has a bunch of great health benefits too ! The oil has a high percentage of monounsaturated fat, a good fat that helps maintain heart health , and contains 75% less saturated fat than olive oil.

Aside from those great health benefits, I love cooking with Thrive ® Algae Oil because it has a high smoke point of up to 485 degrees! Meaning it’s safe to use for high temperature cooking like roasting, grilling, searing and pan frying. Not to mention its light, neutral taste, which makes it a great addition to salad dressings and baked goods.

This oil is so versatile, it’s become a favorite in my kitchen. I discovered Thrive® Algae Oil at my local Earth Fare –check their website to find the store closest to you or find it on Amazon !

Ingredients for Peanut Sauce

For the peanut sauce you'll need:

  • Peanut butter (creamy, natural)
  • Brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • Tamari
  • Fresh lemon juice (or lime)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Hot water to thin

For more notes and detailed instruction, see my full post for the Easy Peanut Sauce.

Types Of Salad Vegetables

Salad vegetables are the glorious greens. They pack a powerful punch of health benefits. Although each type offers different advantage, they’re all low in calories with plenty of fiber that adds the so much needed bulk in the digestive system. Dark green types of salad vegetables supply a combination of vitamins that supports the immune system, protect bones and keep the cardiovascular system up and running.

Green veggies like broccoli promote eye health and keep cancer at bay. Red colored Tomatoes, radishes and bell peppers have antioxidants that reduce heart disease. Immune boosting vitamin C is found in the yellow colored vegetables like squash and yellow peppers. The orange veggies such as sweet potatoes and carrots provide beta carotene which benefits the immune system, eyesight and skin. The blue berries have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer compounds whereas the purple vegetables like eggplant fight the effects of aging. White vegetables like cauliflower protect against cancer and heart disease.

Serious Entertaining: A Thai-Style Tapas Dinner

Niki Achitoff-Gray the editor-in-chief at Serious Eats and a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She's pretty big into oysters, offal, and most edible things.

As the weather turns hot and humid, I find myself increasingly indecisive about what I want to eat. Maybe my cravings are scrambled by the constant passage from sweltering New York City streets and subway tunnels to sub-zero air-conditioned stores and offices maybe it's the explosive vegetation, or the expanse of summer produce suddenly available at the market. Regardless, summertime stresses me out—there's just so much food out there, and I want all of it.

The solution? Tapas everything, all the time.

Yes, I'm using tapas as a verb. Critics of this method might describe it as the bastardization of a Spanish culinary tradition, the justification of greed in the form of myriad small plates, joined together beneath a thematic umbrella concept.* Thai food, for instance.

*They would be right. But I would be eating Thai tapas. so I'm pretty sure I win.

And I love to tapas Thai food. Not only does it make a stunning sight, laid out in a lavish, colorful spread, but the boldly sweet, sour, and spicy notes seem to physically lower my body temperature—even when the dishes themselves are fiery-hot. These particular recipes are quick, easy, and hot weather-friendly. Many also call for the same ingredients, so don't be daunted by the volume—once you've gathered staples like citrus fruits, herbs, and fish sauce, the rest of it's a breeze.

Green Papaya Salad

Shredded into thin, crisp strips, green papaya makes a lightly sweet, crunchy, and refreshing salad. The fruit's natural sugars—mild and slightly starchy in its unripened state—anchors the spicy-tart dressing of fish sauce, lime, and chilies. This salad also happens to be extremely versatile: Toss on some parboiled shrimp or squid for a more substantial meal, or mix in other vegetables, like carrot or cucumber, for added color and flavor.

Stir-Fried Clams with Thai Chili Jam and Basil

Clams and summer go together like, well, clams and summer. But the real key to this recipe is the Thai chili jam Nam Prik Pao. You get the tartness of tamarind, the saltiness of fish sauce, the smokiness of dried red chilies, and some punch from garlic and shallots. It shouldn't be too tough to find a jar at any Asian grocery, but if you can't get your hands on any, consider substituting a homemade sauce, like our Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (make some extra for the shrimp cakes, below). Between the jam and the briny juice released from the clams, this stir-fry packs a ton of flavor. And, like all stir-fries, the entire dish is a quick 'n' easy one-pot deal.

Thai-Style Marinated Flank Steak and Herb Salad

The dressing for this salad doubles as a marinade for the flank steak, and the recipe closely mirrors that of the papaya salad. To save time, you can just make a big batch right off the bat and adjust your seasonings accordingly. Once it's all mixed up, you just have to marinate the meat and throw it on the grill for a few minutes on each side. The steak gets a beautiful charred crust, thanks to some palm sugar. In the summer, I like it best chilled, but you can certainly serve it warm if you prefer. Sliced over some fragrant herbs and shallots, with a crunchy base of sprouts, it's a definite crowd pleaser. Not in the mood for steak? Give this Thai Herbal Salmon Salad a shot, instead.

Chicken Satay

Chicken is a tricky protein, all too often dried out and painfully bland. Not so with this recipe. Though it's only marinated for an hour, it's juicy and flavorful, with a lingering herbacious aroma of lemongrass. To really step up your game, take the skewers for a dip in some spicy peanut sauce.

Thai Shrimp Cakes with Sweet Chili Sauce

If you have a food processor, this recipe is virtually effortless. A quick whirl transforms shrimp, cilantro stems, garlic, and white peppercorns into a flavorful blend. Rolled in some bread crumbs or panko, the patties fry up crisp, golden, and fluffy. Serve it with some of that Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping.


  • For something savory, try a cooling cucumber-infused lemonade, fragrant with basil and lemongrass.
    Get the recipe for Cucumber-Basil Lemonade with Lemongrass »
  • Craving a little heat? This lemonade packs a punch, combining Thai chili and tart lemon juice, balanced with the floral sweetness of fresh lychees.
    Get the recipe for Lychee-Thai Chili Lemonade »
  • Those with a sweet tooth will fall hard for this take on Thai iced tea. Brewed from strong black tea, it's mixed with spices like star anise, cardamom, or crushed tamarind. Usually, its creamy sweetness comes from the addition of condensed milk. This recipe gives the classic beverage a nutty, dairy-free twist, using light coconut milk, instead.
    Get the recipe for Coconutty Thai Iced Tea »

Dessert: Banana-Coconut-Sesame Cake

Fried bananas and brown sugar caramelize in this upside-down cake, flavored with a nutty dose of toasted sesame seeds. Dust it with some powdered sugar and serve it hot or at room temperature either way, it looks almost as good as it tastes.

Thai Banana Fritters, Kluay Kaek, Thai Street food

We discovered this gem during our recent trip to Thailand. Every afternoon, our driver Chaiwat Busantia would pick up a pack of Kluay Kaek from the street vendor. He insisted that we have a bite and we were hooked the moment we tasted it. It was dynamite. Crunchy crust, sweet and soft inside, all in one bite. After the AHA banana fritter moment, we had it almost every day in the evening during the trip. The vendors would just come running between cars in the signal with bags of Kluay Kaek and it will all be sold in minutes. They bring them hot. It was a sight to watch. Its such a popular snack in Thailand.

Its very similar to our own Pazham pori. I think every asian country has a version of banana fritter. The Thai Banana Fritters, Kluay Kaek is made in a rice flour batter and the addition of sesame seeds and coconut gives a nice texture to the fritters. Some recipes use black sesame seeds while some recipes use white sesame seeds. Kluay Kaek is a perfect evening snack and we loved it so much. So next time you are in Thailand, pick one of the Kluay Kaek bags and enjoy!

Thai banana fritters is made with the small and firm numwah bananas. Its important that the bananas are ripe but firm. Do not use the regular bananas. They will become into a mush in oil when cooked. A very good substitute for these bananas would be to use ripe plantains ( Nendaram Pazham ). You will need a banana that will hold up its shape without disintegrating in oil. If you are using the small banana variety, do not use the really ripe ones which are soft. Use firm bananas.

Take a bowl and add in the rice flour, maida (all purpose flour), coconut, sugar, baking soda, salt and the sesame seeds. I have used black sesame seeds today. Add in the water and whisk well to make a smooth batter. The batter should nicely coat the bananas when dipped.

Cut the peeled bananas into two. If using plantain, Cut the top and the bottom of the plantain. Cut the plantain into half and peel the skin. Cut the peeled plantain into quarter inch strips. set aside.

Heat oil in a pan to deep fry. When the oil is hot, dip the bananas in the batter and gently place in the hot oil.

Fry the bananas / plantains until slightly golden on both sides.

Serve hot immediately. Its crisp and juicy when its hot! Its banana love in a big bite!

Fun facts about quinoa

  • Quinoa is a complete protein which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids which is hard to come by in one single plant food. Quinoa is also high in fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium and many other vitamins and minerals.
  • Did you know that quinoa isn't actually a grain? It's the seed of a plant that is related to the spinach, beet and chard family.
  • Since at least 3000 BC quinoa has been a staple in the diet of the Andean people of South America. The Incas called quinoa "the mother grain" and considered it a sacred food. For them it was as valuable as gold.
  • There are over 100 varieties. The most common being white, red and black. The red and black hold their shape a bit better and the black tends to have a sweeter, nuttier taste. The nutritional value is the same for all types.

Thai rice noodle salad

Place the noodles and beansprouts in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 4 mins, or until the noodles are tender. Drain, then cool under cold running water and drain again. Return to the bowl.

Stir together the lime zest and juice, fish or soy sauce and sugar. Stir into the noodles with the red onion and lettuce.

To make with mince, heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan and stir-fry 500g minced pork, a small knob of grated ginger and pinch cayenne pepper or chilli powder for 10 mins, until the mince is browned and cooked through. Mix into the noodles, divide between four bowls and serve warm.

To make with steak, make the rice noodle salad. Heat 1 tsp sunflower oil in a frying pan. Tip 2 tbsp sesame seeds onto a plate. Rub 1 tsp oil into 4 x 175g sirloin steaks and press into sesame seeds. Fry for 5 mins for medium rare, turning halfway. Leave to rest for 5 mins, then thinly slice. Toss 1 deseeded and shredded red chilli, and a handful mint leaves into noodles. Top with steak to serve.

Thai stir-fries like this one are a great way to showcase fresh green vegetables. You can increase the spiciness of your stir-fry by adding more chiles. The key to this dish's success? Controlling the heat on the pan from beginning to end.

Use a mini-processor to make the curry paste if youɽ like, although this fiery stew will take on a deeper flavor if you use a granite mortar and pestle.

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Green Mango and Papaya Salad Recipe

A simple green mango papaya salad made with finely julienned raw mangoes and papaya with a home dressing. Recipe with step by step pictures.

This is one of the simplest salads you will ever make. This Thai inspired version of Som Tam is one of our favorites. Its sweet, sour, crunchy and very refreshing. I do not add the traditional fish sauce to the salad that’s very prominent in Som Tam. This recipe makes up for a great meal in itself or as a side. Do try this at home. Here is how to do it.

Vegetables for the salad
The raw green papaya needs to be shred / julienned. Peel and deseed the papaya.

Slice the papaya and then cut into thin strips. A food processor will do the job fine.

Peel the raw mango. Slice and cut the raw mango into thin strips too!

Cut the carrots into strips and add everything to a bowl. Also add in a few sprigs of chopped coriander leaves.

For the dressing
Take a small mixie jar and add in half of a deseeded tomato. Add in the lemon juice, olive oil, green chilli, palm sugar or jaggery, garlic cloves and the salt.

Grind everything to a puree. Do not add any water while grinding.

Add this dressing to the cut veggies.

Finally, roughly chop some roasted peanuts.

Add in the roasted peanuts to the salad and mix well.

Green mango and papaya salad is ready.


  1. Nygel

    there are still many variants

  2. Sarpedon

    Great option

  3. Osaze

    It's a pity that I can't speak now - I'm forced to go away. But I will be released - I will definitely write that I think on this question.

  4. Wine

    It here if I am not mistaken.

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