As with any salad or coleslaw, this recipe is all about the dressing.
Inspired by Thai flavors, the dressing has a subtle richness of coconut in the background, with the peanut butter being the star flavor profile. Add a touch of lemon and you have a perfect light and delicious dressing.
Now, I don’t use fish sauce very often. I know. Strange, considering I’m full Asian.
But when I do add it to my meals, I use Red Boat Fish sauce, which is an all-natural “extra virgin” Vietnamese fish sauce. It does not contain added water, sugar, preservatives or MSG.
With any higher quality ingredient, you can totally notice the difference in flavor. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have that stinky anchovy smell that you’ve experienced in the past. The fish sauce adds depth to the dressing, without being overly powerful.
You can pretty much use this dressing on any type of greens. Since we’re going with the Asian theme, I figured bok choy would really fit in. It’s mild, crunchy, and full of healthy benefits.
And of course, the shrimp is optional.
*For vegetarians, replace shrimp with 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds and you’ll have about 8 grams of protein. Other options: tempeh, organic non-GMO tofu, handful of almonds, 1/2 cup of quinoa, or simply bulk up with more greens.
Spicy Coconut Peanut Dressing
*Yields 2 servings
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (optional: almond butter)
- 1 birds eye chili, sliced
- 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar (optional: raw honey)
- 1-2 tablespoon mint, chopped
- 2 cups bok choy, chopped
- 1 cup red cabbage, chopped
- 2 handfuls romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- Handful of sprouts
- 14 shrimps, grilled
For the dressing, mix together the coconut milk, lemon, fish sauce, chili, and coconut sugar.
Chop the vegetables lengthwise, but not too thin. Marinate the shrimp with a dash of black pepper and sea salt. Place it on the grill over medium-high for about 1 minute on each side. Shrimp continues to cook after you take it off. When it comes to cooking shrimp, you have to kind of “eyeball” it. The shrimp will start to curl up and turn pink.
Lightly toss the vegetables with the dressing.