All three dishes that I prepared for tonight’s dinner were based on Thai recipes. But, for one reason or another, two did not turn out to be authentic Thai dishes. The ingredients for the fish in chili garlic sauce were modified to adapt to what I had in the pantry but it still turned out very well. The original recipe for this cucumber salad called for chopped roasted peanuts but since I still had a pack and a half of roasted pili nuts from the Albay trip, I decided to use them instead.
What’s really great about this salad is its simplicity — simplicity in the preparation and simplicity of ingredients all of which are staples in most kitchens. Unlike Western salads, it contains no oil but relies largely on the natural flavors of the cucumber which is wonderfully enhanced by the pungent and citrusy aromas of the dressing. Pungent? Yes, the dressing contains patis or fish sauce.
Serves 3 to 4.
3 large cucumbers, peeled
2 finger chilis, seeds removed (see related entry) and thinly sliced
1/4 c. of chopped roasted pili nuts (lightly salted is fine)
1 tbsp. of patis (fish sauce)
2 tbsps. of kalamansi, line or lemon juice
2 tbsps. of brown sugar
Shred the cucumbers. You may thinly slice them vertically then cut thin into thin strips or you may use the shredder commonly used for tender coconuts. Discard the middle part containing the seeds. Place in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to blend well. Serve at once.
Note: Because cucumbers expel water fast once they come in contact with anything salty or acidic, it is best to prepare the salad just before serving.