cucumber honeydew salad with ginger dressing
This salad is a great way to take advantage of cucumbers and honeydew melons in season. It's fresh with a hint of sweet and salty. Fish sauce is the star here but it's subtle and NOT fishy!
Cucumber Honeydew Salad with Ginger Dressing
½ medium honeydew melon, seeds and rind removed, cut into 1" cubes
1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
6 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. finely grated peeled ginger
1 tsp. light brown sugar
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp pepper
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced (optional)
¼ cup salted, dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
Whisk vinegar, fish sauce, ginger, and brown sugar in a large bowl to combine.
Combine melon, cucumbers, and mint and toss gently with dressing to coat. Top with cilantro and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Thoughts on Fish Sauce
I think the idea of fish sauce can freak people out. It's an ingredient widely used in Asian cuisine and is pretty much just fish (usually anchovies) and salt. We are partial to Rufina Patis, a Filipino fish sauce, but any fish sauce can be used in this recipe. Thai fish sauce is more common and easier to find in grocery stores that are not Asian specialty stores.
You can read about the origins of fish sauce here, but the book Salt by food writer and historian Mark Kurlansky is one Bri's faves and there's a great section on fish sauce for lovers of food history and culture.