From the spicy notes of Thai basil to the sweet, juicy addition of pineapple, this salad takes inspiration from Thai cuisine. It’s fresh, easy and oil free. It brings together spicy elements with sweet and sour elements. Overall, it’s a refreshing salad that is perfect for summer.
I’ve been going through a slight obsession with Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce. It is sweet, savory and delicious, and really makes this sauce. If you don’t have any of it on hand, you can substitute 1 1/2 Tbsp sriracha sauce + 1 tsp (or more) of agave + a dash of garlic powder. You’ll need to make adjustments to make it milder or hotter or sweeter for your taste, but this combination will get you started in the right direction. It’s not the same as Mae Ploy’s Sweet Chili Sauce, but still pretty good.
I also call for using fresh Thai basil in this recipe. It is somewhat spicy, and conjures notes of anise and licorice. If you use fresh sweet basil, which is very prevalent in the U.S., it will not taste the same. It might be good, or it might be bad, but it will definitely lessen the “Thai” elements in the salad.
Thai Pineapple Cucumber Salad
¼ cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp sweet chili sauce + more to drizzle (I used Mae Ploy, but you can use others or make a substitution – see note above)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
Salt, to taste
1 large English cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds removed, and then diced
1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into bite-size pieces
1-2 Tbsp fresh Thai basil, chopped (see note above)
1. In a large mixing bowl, add lime juice, sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar and salt. Whisk together. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed. It might need more chili sauce, lime or salt for your taste.
2. Toss the cucumbers and pineapple in the sauce. Drizzle with sweet chili sauce and top with Thai Basil. Serve.