Spicy Lemongrass Salad
Although many of us in the West assume that lemongrass must be cooked before it's eaten, cooks in southern Thailand adore its crunchy texture and intensely citrusy flavor. Pom, the cook in Phatthalung who gave us this recipe, sometimes uses dried whole anchovies (known in Thai as pla kem) when he makes this vibrant salad. We found this dish to be perfectly satisfying without them. Trim and slice 15 stalks fresh lemongrass. Transfer lemongrass slices to a medium bowl; separate rings with your fingers. Add 1⁄4 cup finely chopped ginger, 2 tbsp. toasted cashews, 2 tbsp. whole dried shrimp, 1 1⁄2 tbsp. fish sauce, 1 1⁄2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 1⁄2 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. finely ground whole dried shrimp, 4–6 stemmed and thinly sliced red thai chiles, and 2 shallots very thinly sliced lengthwise and toss well. Garnish with 3 raw stemmed long beans that have been cut into 4" pieces. Serve with steamed jasmine rice. Serves 4.