Recipe: Thai-Style Quinoa Salad

Recipe: Thai-Style Quinoa Salad

This is a great dish to try if you're looking to make an almost-vegetarian, eclectic salad with a sweet, sour and spicy kick

katjweiss  katjweiss  on 5 Jan '17

A recipe from my Thai mother, who likes to get creative in the kitchen. Thanks, Ma!

Some ingredients included in this recipe, such as crunchy fried shallots, Thai
chilli paste (nam prik pao)*, tamarind juice and palm sugar, will not be found in conventional supermarkets. If you are in Hong Kong, there are a number of Thai grocery stores in Kowloon City, such as Lemon Shop, where you can find these ingredients. 

*We use a vegetarian version of this chilli paste, which is only necessary if you wish to have this dish be 100% veggie friendly.*


Serves: 4


For the salad:

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, diced 
  • ¼ cup yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 tomato, seeds discarded and diced
  • 1 block (about 200g) extra-firm tofu, diced and pan-fried – we get our tofu from the local wet market
  • ¼ cup cashews, toasted
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup fried shallots

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For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup palm sugar
  • ¼–½ cup tamarind juice – we make our own from fresh tamarind
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 2 tbsp Thai chilli paste (nam prik pao
  • 2 tbsp lime juice 
  • 2 chillies, chopped 


1. Make the dressing. Over low heat, melt the palm sugar in a pan with the tamarind juice and stir until the sugar has dissolved. 

2. Add the salt, soy sauce and chilli paste and stir until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Mix in the lime juice and chopped chillies.

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3. Assemble the salad. Set aside a few cashews, mint leaves and fried shallot pieces for garnishing, then place all the salad ingredients in a big bowl, pour over the dressing and mix well. The taste should be sweet, sour, salty and spicy. 

4. Garnish with the remaining fried shallots, cashews and mint leaves. Enjoy!

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Illustrator & Designer based in Hong Kong

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