Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Arugula and Tilapia Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing

 I was really craving a light lunch when I threw this salad together.  Although I wanted it to be light, I certainly did not want it to be light on flavor.  I wanted a really flavorful salad dressing to jazz up this salad. I thought back to one of my favorite dipping sauces from when I made Chicken Satay and knew I had to create a salad dressing out of it. It only took me five minutes to get ready and I'm almost embarrassed to say I could have licked the plate clean.  The real star in this meal is the dressing.  You can throw together any green for the salad and any grilled meat or tofu for your protein on the salad.  This dressing will work great on anything.  If you love Thai peanut sauces, give this one a try.

 Ingredients to make Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing:

1cup coconut milk
1/3 cup of water
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter (I used Jiff)
1 Tbs of brown sugar
1 Tbs of soy sauce
1/2 Tbs of fish sauce
1 small handful of Thai basil leaves torn (you can substitute regular basil)
1/2 tsp of red chili flakes (or to taste)
roasted crush peanuts for garnish (optional)

Directions:  Heat a saucepan on medium-low heat.  Add all ingredients and stir until everything mixes well and the peanut butter melts.   Allow to cook a few minutes.  If sauce is too thick for salad dressing add a little water to thin it out.  Adjust flavors/seasoning to your palate by adding more soy sauce or fish sauce for a saltier flavor or brown sugar to sweeten it. Serve warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy.  

 Ingredients for pan fried Tilapia:

1lb of fresh tilapia fillets
1/2 cup of cornstarch seasoned with some salt and black pepper
2 Tbs of canola oil

Heat oil and pan fry fish fillets on both sides until browned and cooked through.

Ingredients for Salad:
Any style of lettuce (arugula, romaine, iceberg etc..)
red tomatoes diced or grape tomatoes
onions thinly sliced
red or green bell peppers sliced
crushed roasted peanuts to garnish
Green Onions/Scallions to garnish

Layer all ingredients together, place your protein of choice on top and drizzle with Peanut Dressing.  Garnish with more peanuts and scallions.  Enjoy

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