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Glorious green salad with a hot Asian dressing

Diana Henry / 21 September 2016

A light and healthy salad that's packed with Asian flavours.

Green salad with a hot Asian dressing
Green salad with a hot Asian dressing




  • 35g sugar snap peas
  • 1 small avocado
  • 35g fresh peas, podded (or defrosted frozen peas)
  • 1 small young courgette, sliced on the diagonal
  • 35g mooli, cut into matchsticks, or radishes, finely sliced
  • 25g baby spinach leaves, or a mixture of green leaves
  • 1/4 ridge cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
  • Small bunch coriander or mint, leaves only
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds for serving (can be white or black or a mixture)

For the dressing

  • 3/4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3/4 tbsp boiling water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¾ tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • Small square piece of ginger root, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded & very finely chopped
  • ½ small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil


You can put whatever you like in this, as long as it’s green. Baby gem lettuce, watercress, broad beans, they’re all good.

Take care with the dressing; it really needs a good sweet-sour-salty-hot balance. Taste as you go and adjust it before tossing with the vegetables.

You can eat this on its own of course – it’s filling – but it’s also good with meaty or oily fish (tuna or mackerel), pork chops and roast chicken.

Using a fork, whisk the caster sugar with the water (hot water just helps the sugar to dissolve) and the lime. Add the fish sauce, garlic, ginger and chilli, then whisk in the oil. Taste for sweet-salty balance. You might want to add more lime juice here, or even more sugar or fish sauce – you have to use your taste buds. Remember this is a strong dressing and needs to have a balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet.

Cut the sugar snaps lengthways, so you can see the little peas inside, into three. Don’t cook them!

Halve the avocado, stone, then cut into slices. Peel the skin from each slice, squeeze the lime over the slices and season. Put all the vegetables, leaves and the coriander into a broad shallow bowl. Toss with the dressing, top with the sesame seeds and serve.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.