November 28, 2008

Thai Noodle Salad with Turkey and Shrimp


for the dressing
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 Thai green chiles, thinly sliced
juice 1 lime
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind juice (optional)

salad ingredients:
1/2 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
3 oz bean sprouts
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut up

for the meat:
2 cups shredded, cooked turkey
1/2 lb steamed, peeled shrimp
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 Thai chiles, diced
1 clove garlic, minced

10 oz rice stick OR bean thread noodles

to serve:
3 tablespoons chopped toasted peanuts
1 lime, cut into wedges
diced green onion

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, set aside.

thai salad dressing
Prepare noodles according to package instructions. Set aside. In a skillet, heat the oil then saute the chiles, and garlic with shrimp and turkey for 1 minute. Toss with dressing, salad ingredients and noodles. Sprinkle with peanuts and diced onions. Serve with lime wedges.

My thoughts:
Every year I get a lot of "what to do with leftover turkey" requests. Frankly leftover turkey was never much of an issue in my family (we just ate the meal, had a sandwich and maybe made soup and that was it) but since I've had this blog, I've been making Thanksgiving-like meals way in advance so I can post new holiday recipes leading up the event and come up with creative leftover ideas.

While checking out the competition, I've found most turkey leftover recipes are either a. some sort of creamy casserole, b. Mexican food or c. chili. All of which are well and good (and I still might make a chili this year) but I was thinking of something a little lighter. The last thing I want after a day of heavy food is more stick to the ribs fare. So I came up with this Pad Thai-inspired salad. It is substantial enough to serve as a meal but much lighter and healthier tasting than what you probably had on Thanksgiving.

Note: I used bean thread noodles but I think that rice stick (normally what is used in Pad Thai) would be great as well. I actually only used the bean thread because I had a package of them and not the rice stick like I thought. Despite being rather different noodles I think both would work because they are neutral tasting and delicious even when served in cold dishes.