Scallop-Orange-Cucumber Salad (ยำหอยเชลล์กับส้มและแตงกวา)


If you have made green mango salad with grilled shrimp and cashew or Chinese sausage (kun chiang) and cucumber salad, you already know how to make most Thai salads, including this one. In fact, I bet by this time you’re already a pro when it comes to seasoning your yam instinctively without having to rely on exact measurements. Some lime juice, some fish sauce, some sugar if desired. Want it hot, add chilies. Want it smoky and hot, add dried chilies. If you deal with ingredients that are intrinsically sweet, sour, or salty, then adjust your seasoning accordingly.

The secret of Thai cuisine is that there are no secrets. Bummer.

To make this — and let’s just pretend we’re making a portion big enough to serve 4 — simply sear up enough scallops for 4 people until you get a nice crust on the outside of them without overcooking the inside. Then you set the scallops aside while cutting up half an English cucumber into matchsticks, slicing up thinly 1/2 a medium red onion (or 2 medium shallots), and sectioning 2 oranges. Toss everything together in a bowl. Add some lime juice and fish sauce to taste. Throw in some chopped up chilies and cilantro or mint leaves. Done.

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