How about a healthy main dish salad full of awesome Thai flavor? This Thai Pork Quinoa Salad is just that and perfect for those times when you want a satisfying, yet light meal.
I like to make a big batch of quinoa and freeze it in one cup portions to have on hand when I want to quickly add it to a dish. That’s what I did this time around, but if you don’t want to add quinoa, just leave it out! For the salad veggies I chose cabbage and romaine lettuce along with some matchstick sliced carrots, red bell pepper, and a shallot. There’s also lots of fresh chopped mint and cilantro that go so well with the flavors of the dressing. To finish the salad I used roasted cashews, YUM!
The dressing for this Thai Pork Quinoa Salad couldn’t be simpler. It calls for fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar and chile paste. Now, before you ask if you can substitute soy sauce for fish sauce or some other sugar for palm sugar, I suppose you can. It just won’t taste like “Thai” and, in my opinion, not as good, so go with the fish sauce and get yourself some palm sugar! I use them in just about all my Thai recipes.Print
Thai Pork Quinoa Salad
- Yield: about 4 main dish salads 1x
- 1 C. cooked quinoa (prepared according to package directions)
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 Tbls. minced ginger*
- 1 Tbls. lemon grass*
- 1 C. shredded carrots (I used pre sliced matchstick sliced carrots from the store)
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced (you could substitute red onion or scallions)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 C. chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 C. shredded green cabbage
- 1/4 C. toasted cashews (you could substitute another nut if desired)
- 1/4 C. chopped mint
- 1/4 C. chopped cilantro
For the dressing:
- 2 Tbls. fish sauce
- 2 Tbls. lime juice (about 2 limes, use some zest if you like)
- 1 Tbls. palm sugar (I used this)
- 1 tsp. chili paste
- Prepare quinoa according to package directions.
- In skillet, cook ground pork with the garlic, ginger and lemon grass. Add quinoa and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In small bowl, combine dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Assemble salad: In large bowl, combine the pork quinoa mixture with the lettuce, cabbage, carrots, shallot, red bell pepper, mint, cilantro and dressing. Toss to combine. Divide among plates. Sprinkle some cashews on top of each serving.
*I used Gourmet Garden Ginger Paste and Gourmet Garden Lemon Grass Paste which comes in a tube and found near the fresh herbs in the grocery store. It’s so convenient.