Try this pad thai salad with shredded cabbage and kale recipe extracted from Hetty McKinnon's book, To Asia, With Love, then check out more Thai-style recipes. Now discover 10 things we love about Thai cuisine.

Hetty says: "Rather than using cooked vegetables, I’ve used raw kale and cabbage, which I’ve softened by massaging in salt and lime. This leaves the veggies citrussy, with a bit of crunch, adding an exciting brightness to this classic noodle dish. You could use other veggies, too – carrots would be a nice addition – and add pan-fried tofu slices if you want to increase the protein."


  • 120g kale, leaves only, finely sliced
  • 225g green or purple cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 350g flat rice noodles
  • 3 radishes, finely sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 20 leaves basil
  • a handful of leaves coriander
  • 3 tbsp roasted peanuts, roughly chopped


  • 3 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegan fish sauce (buy online or see cook’s notes, below)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tamarind purée
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


  • STEP 1

    To prepare the dressing, heat the sugar, fish sauce, rice vinegar, tamarind, sesame oil, chilli flakes and garlic in a small pan over a low heat for 1 minute until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and season.

  • STEP 2

    Put the kale and cabbage in a large bowl, sprinkle with 1 tsp of sea salt and squeeze over the juice of half a lime. Massage the salt and juice into the leaves to tenderise them, then leave to sit for 10 minutes.

  • STEP 3

    Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the noodles following pack instructions, usually about 6-7 minutes. Rinse under cold running water and leave to drain.

  • STEP 4

    To serve, combine the noodles, massaged leaves and dressing in a large bowl and toss to coat. Taste and season. Add the radishes, spring onions, basil and coriander, and toss gently. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the peanuts, then serve with the remaining lime, cut into wedges, on the side.

Cook's notes

To make vegan fish sauce, whisk together 125ml of lime juice, 2 tbsp of soft light brown sugar, 2 tbsp of tamari or soy sauce, 1 crushed garlic clove and ½ tsp sea salt flakes. It will keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to four weeks.

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