Project Description

Thai Zucchini Salad

Recipe Icons-02
6 Servings
Recipe Icons-01
Difficulty Level
Active Prep
Active Prep
30 min
Total Time
Total Time
30 minutes

Get to know thy neighbor. At least the one growing zucchini in their garden. They’ll be looking to give away the surplus from their crop, and you’re going to want to make this salad as often as they leave the fruit on your doorstep. Inspired by a Thai papaya salad, it’s the perfect antidote to a hot summer night when cooking is out of the question.

See Cook’s Note on choosing fish sauce.


Soak the onion slices in cold water (this mellows the bite) while you cut the other vegetables.
Julienne the carrot and zucchini on a mandoline, discarding the centers. Put in large bowl with the onions and sprouts, separating the strands with your fingers. Hand-tear the cilantro and mint leaves into the bowl.

for the Dressing

Whisk the oil, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic and chile and pour over the vegetables. Toss well and serve immediately.

Fish sauces can vary slightly between Thai and Vietnamese style. Vietnamese fish sauce, or nuoc mam, tend to be more mild in fish flavor and more aromatic. Thai fish sauce, or nam pla, is a bit saltier than Vietnamese ones.


  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 pound zucchini
  • 1 cup your favorite sprouts, such as alfalfa or radish
  • 1½ cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, from 1 large juicy lime
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 Thai bird chile, thinly sliced

Special Equipment

  • mandoline or julienne peeler
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