A few months after writing the first post on Cookin’ Canuck, we went to visit my friend (J) and her family. To say that J and I know each other well would be an understatement. You see, she has been my dearest friend since grade four. When you know someone for that long, there are a lot of life experiences stored away in that vault of friendship…high school crushes, high school heart breaks (oh, the drama!), first puffs on a cigarette (then never again!), watching each other say “I do” to the loves of our lives and holding each other’s children for the first time. To name a few.
As I headed off to college for the first time, many years ago, J gave me a mug with a quote on it. I still have that mug, and I still cherish the sentiment of the quote.
She is my friend, she is my sister and she holds a very special place in my heart.
One of the things both J and I enjoy doing (and it's even better when we do it together) is cooking. J has a penchant for experimenting with different flavors just as I do. On that particular visit a few years ago, she whipped up a fabulous Thai feast, including a spicy and lightly flavored cucumber salad that she learned to make in a Thai cooking class. I’ve made that cucumber salad many times since then. It took me a little while to get past the smell of the fish sauce (just don’t breathe in deeply while making the dressing) and always have to remind myself that the flavors mellows considerably once it melds with the other ingredients.
This salad is spin-off of J’s cucumber salad, replacing the cucumber with thinly sliced pieces of crunchy, refreshing jicama. I honestly had no idea how this was going to turn out, but was shortly emitting sighs of “Wow, this is so good!” Even my 8-year old (lover of all things spicy) put his stamp of approval on this one. The natural sweetness of the vegetable balances the salty spiciness of the dressing beautifully. Pair it with a salad of rice noodles and shrimp for a fresh, summertime meal.
I hope that the next time we're together, I can treat J to a bowl of this salad.
Cut the jicama in quarter wedges, then thinly slice. Thinly slice the red onion into half-moon pieces.
In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, rice vinegar and agave nectar until the agave nectar dissolves. Add red chile flakes and whisk again.
Place the jicama and onion slices into a medium-sized bowl. Toss with the rice vinegar dressing.
Add the cilantro and toss again. Serve.
Thai Jicama & Red Onion Salad
- ½ jicama peeled
- ½ small red onion peeled
- 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar can substitute sugar
- 1 red chili minced or ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Cut the jicama in quarter wedges, then thinly slice. Thinly slice the red onion into half-moon pieces.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, rice vinegar and agave nectar until the agave nectar dissolves. Add red chile flakes and whisk again.
- Place the jicama and onion slices into a medium-sized bowl. Toss with the rice vinegar dressing.
- Add the cilantro and toss again. Serve.
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What a sweet story and a delicious looking recipe. I love cooking with similar ingredients so will have to try this combination out sometime soon. Thanks for sharing!
Gerry @ Foodness Gracious
Wow, how strange. My daughter recently graduated from being a daisy to being a brownie, one of the other parents recorded the ceremony and each girl received a DVD. Anyway one of the songs they used is the same as your quote and my daughter couldn't stop singing it 🙂
I do love the look of that super fresh salad too!!
I can never find recipes that use jicama that are different from the usual. Thank you for this unique and delicious looking rec ipe.
Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen
The story of your friendship is very touching and I can relate so much. I have a friend I shared so much with in high school and I'm so thankful that we are still friends. She is the only one who can make me laugh with just a look.
What a wonderful, light, summer salad!
I love this kind of dish, with clean, simple but intense flavors! And some nice crunch. What more could you ask for in a summer dish?
Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia)
Oh! I just bought a giant jicama yesterday for another recipe and I wondered what to do with the leftovers. 🙂 YUM. I think I might add some cucumber too. I seriously LOVE your recipes, Dara!
Oh yes indeed. I can tell I would love this salad. (And thanks for the mention!)
I never had jicama but the salad sounds like something I would love to dig in.
I love jicama and know that I would love this salad. And what a great friend!!
I still need to try jicama, I'm totally missing out. This salad sounds great!
Such a nice summer salad Dara!
Awww...loved hearing about you and J 😀 Love this recipe, I'm on a no cooking kick right now with the heat.
Lauren @ Part Time House Wife
Where was this recipe a few months ago?!?!? I for the first time ever purchased jicama and it sat on my counter until it was no longer edible. I didn't really know what to do with it and got lazy on the recipe investigation! Looks amazing 😉
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.
Great looking salad! I love using jicama! I hope I will see you next week in Park City
Laura (Tutti Dolci)
I love jicama, what a perfect salad with those delicious Thai flavors!
Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen
What a sweet story of friendship! I hope you can make this for her too 🙂
Ali @ Gimme Some Oven
Ha...I have to remind myself to do the same with fish sauce. This looks so refreshing and delicious! 🙂