Thai corn and tomato salad
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Thai corn and tomato salad


Susan says

Fresh corn – often called sweetcorn to differ­entiate it from the starchier varieties – is a delicious, cooling treat. I love it slightly charred on the grill, so it gets a smoky flavour, but it’s also good when simply blanched, then served with melted butter.

If the sweetcorn you buy is really fresh, there is no need to cook it – you can eat it raw. If you prefer to cook the vegetable, blanch it only briefly – for 30 seconds or less – or it will lose its crisp texture.

Vietnamese cold pork sausage (cha lua/gio lua) is also known as steamed pork sausage. It has a bouncy texture and can be eaten straight out of the pack – there’s no need to cook it. Look for it in the refrigerated section of Vietnamese or Thai shops. If you can’t find it, leave it out and add more fresh shrimp to the dish, or add a couple of hard-boiled eggs, cut in quarters.

15g (½oz)
dried shrimp
4-6 ears
sweetcorn, husk and silks removed
fresh shrimp, with body size about 6cm (2⅓ in) long, peeled
small garlic cloves, peeled
red bird's-eye chillies
shallots, peeled
10g (2tsp)
granulated sugar
10ml (2tsp)
fish sauce
30-45ml (2-3tbsp)
fresh lime juice
100g (3½oz)
Vietnamese cold pork sausage
150g (5⅓ oz)
small, sweet cherry tomatoes
To serve
120-150g (4¼-5⅓oz)
thin rice noodles
lettuce leaves
pork cracklings (optional)
fried fish skin (optional)

Rinse the dried shrimp briefly, then put them in a bowl and add cool water to cover. Leave to soak for about 15 minutes.


If you want to cook the corn, bring a wide pot of water to the boil. Add the ears of corn and cook for 30 seconds or less, turning over the ears as they simmer in the hot water. Drain the ears of corn in a colander until cool enough to handle.


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For raw or cooked corn, remove the kernels from the cob. Use a sharp knife to cut along each side of one row of kernels, then pop them off with the back of the knife blade. The first row is the most difficult to remove – after that, it’s easy. For the subsequent rows, insert the blade under the kernels at a slight angle (sharp edge facing towards the cob) then slightly twist the knife – the kernels will pop off from the cob. (This is much harder to describe than it is to do.) Do this with the remaining ears of corn – you should have about 500 grams (18oz) of kernels. Put the kernels in a mixing bowl.


Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the fresh shrimp and cook until they curl and turn pink. Use chopsticks or tongs to remove the shrimp from the water.


In the same pot of boiling water, cook the noodles until done. Drain them in a colander.


Halve the garlic cloves and put them in a mortar. Drain the dried shrimp and put them in the mortar, along with the roughly chopped bird’s-eye chillies. Use a pestle to pound the ingredients to bruise and crush them (this brings out the flavour).


Add the sugar, fish sauce and 30ml (2 tbsp) of lime juice to the mortar. Use a spoon to stir the ingredients, then taste for seasoning – it might need more lime juice.


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Halve the cherry tomatoes and put them in the bowl with the corn. Halve the shallots, then thinly slice them before adding them to the bowl.


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Cut the piece of Vietnamese sausage in quarters lengthwise, then slice it. Add the sausage and cooked shrimp to the bowl.


Pour the contents of the mortar into the bowl and stir well. Taste for seasoning, and adjust, if necessary.


Lay some lettuce leaves on a serving plate and arrange the noodles on top.


Spoon the corn and tomato salad onto the plate and serve, with the pork cracklings and fried fish skin (if using) on the side.


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