I'm just as confused by my love of this salad as you might be. I have a longstanding disdain for carrots – we all know that. However, I'm proud to say that I'm coming around. Wait till I make a recipe based around celery – you'll all think I've lost my marbles. I've seen a couple carrot recipes floating around on some of my favorite food blogs that have sounded just dreamy. I never pulled the trigger on those but darn I wanted to.
My immediate attraction to this salad recipe is proof of one thing: if you put a Thai or Vietnamese spin on any ingredient, I'm apt to love it – green bell peppers excluded (we're never going to mend fences). I also love the tangled up-ness of this recipe. It makes it super easy to put together and even easier to adapt the ingredients. Add extra veggies like edamame or snow peas. Substitute the mint for cilantro, which I did in my version. You can adjust the heat in any direction. I love a little spice so the red chili was a great touch for me. If it's too much for you, add more jalapeno and omit the red chili. This salad was a great side dish for a Thai-themed dinner night but would be great as a main topped with spiced chicken or seared tuna.
Thai Carrot Noodle Salad – adapted from a recipe found here at BBCGoodFood – serves 4 as a side dish
– Start 8 cups of water on to boil. Place dry noodles in a large heat-proof bowl. When the water comes to a rolling boil, take off heat and pour over noodles. Allow them to soak for 5-7 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Once they're tender, drain thoroughly. Return to large bowl and allow to cool. You'll mix the rest of the salad together in that bowl.
– In a small bowl, combine sliced shallots, jalapeno, red chili, fish sauce, sugar, rice wine vinegar, and lime juice. You can also make this in a small container with a lid – it makes it really easy to shake the dressing & combine all the bits.
– Once the noodles have cooled, you're ready to mix it all together. In the large mixing bowl, combine the carrots and peanuts in with the noodles. Drizzle dressing over noodle mixture and combine thoroughly so ingredients are distributed through the noodles. Add cilantro and green onion & toss again. You can serve this immediately but it tastes best if it's allowed to sit for at least 30 minutes.