Most local Chinese restaurant in our city has “Vietnamese Salad” in the appetizer section of their menu. It is a big plate of assorted shredded vegetables with thick chili sauce. The chili sauce is really something and I have always been very fond of this. I came across the recipe from a friend’s of my mother. Vietnamese salad sauce from scratch!
Vegetables used are of three colors: red, white and green. Tomatoes and carrots for red, jicama for white and green beans for green. All vegetables are cut as thinly as possible. The sauce is drizzled generously on top of vegetables. For final touch, sprinkle ground peanuts and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
The sauce refrigerates well. We enjoyed it the next day with our french fries.
Back to the salad, is it really Vietnamese dish? I have no clue.
The sauce is made with fresh chilies and various sugar-based ingredients such as palm sugar, castor sugar and sweet soy sauce. Lime juice and tomato sauce give the sauce the much-needed sourish flavor. Easy and nutritious! Okay, I am not sure about the nutritious part. But it sure is yummy.
Vietnamese Vegetable Salad with Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce
10 red chilies
1 clove garlic
4 tbsp cooking oil
4 tbsp lime juice (juice from 2 limes)
1 tbsp palm sugar / gula merah / gula melaka, shaved
3 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sweet soy sauce
3 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 cabbage, chopped finely
1/2 carrot, cut into matchstick shape
1 jicama, cut into matchstick shape
1 stalk spring onions, chopped coarsely
100 g french beans, cut finely diagonally
100 g peanuts, fried/roasted and finely ground
Pound chilies and garlic until they form smooth paste in a mortar (or use a small chopper or food processor)
Heat oil in a wok, stir fry chili paste for 3 minutes over medium heat
Add the rest of the ingredients, simmer for 5 minutes till boiling slightly. Remove from heat and let cool
Arrange vegetables in a plate. Sprinkle peanuts on top and pour red sauce generously
Step by Step