Thai salads

By Patrick Stuart [email protected]

For those chilli addicts amongst us, a serious spice fix usually comes by way of a curry, but these hot summer days call for something lighter and nothing hits the spot like a good Thai salad.

You can use pretty much any meat, but ideally freshly-seared medium-rare strips and leftover cold meat work well. Other good options include prawns and squid.

The base, however, is usually the same – fresh crunchy salad leaves mixed with fresh coriander and mint or, if you can get it, Thai sweet basil.

The main trick is getting the dressing right and a simple rule is to use equal quantities of Thai fish sauce and lime juice, sweetened to taste with soft brown sugar (ideally palm sugar) and laced with finely diced fresh chilli.

I like to give the meat a toss around in the dressing to combine it with the meat juices and then use this to dress the salad.