As we move into summer, I just don’t have the patience to spend a long time next to a hot stove or hot oven to cook. And I certainly don’t feel like eating anything too heavy or rich. So this easy Thai corn salad is perfect for a light lunch or as a side to a lazy summer dinner. A dressing of fresh Thai basil and cilantro along with lime, honey, and ginger perfectly complements the sweet corn that will soon flood our markets and makes this a lot more exciting than your usual corn salad. And since the salad tastes great cold, at room temperature, or even a little warm (and there’s no dairy to spoil), this is the perfect dish to bring along to a picnic. It only takes about fifteen minutes to throw together (or maybe a little bit longer if you use cooked corn rather than raw – I recommend grilling if you’re going to cook the corn), so you’ll still have a lot of time to get out and enjoy yourself.
Thai Corn Salad
Yield: 6 – 8 servings as a side, 2 – 3 servings as a light meal
- 1/2 cup + 6 large roughly chopped Thai basil leaves
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 bird’s eye chili pepper, roughly chopped
- fish sauce, to taste*
- 1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil
- corn kernels sliced off 4 – 6 ears sweet corn, raw or cooked**
- 4 shallots, chopped
*Or replace with a pinch or two of salt, if you’re vegetarian.
**I’ve made this salad with raw corn (nice and quick) as well as with grilled corn (which adds a little smokiness), and both were great.
- In a blender or immersion blender, combine 1/2 cup roughly chopped Thai basil leaves, 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp honey, 2 tsp grated fresh ginger, 1 tsp lime zest, 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped, 1 bird’s eye chili pepper, roughly chopped, and fish sauce, to taste, and puree until smooth.
- Continue blending while drizzling in 1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil until the dressing reaches desired consistency. Add a couple splashes of water to thin, if needed.
- In a large bowl, combine corn kernels sliced off 4 – 6 ears sweet corn, raw or cooked, 4 shallots, chopped, 6 large roughly chopped Thai basil leaves, and the dressing, and toss thoroughly. Serve cold or at room temperature.