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Salad of Snake Beans and Grated Coconut

by The Devil Wears Salad

This Salad of Snake Beans, grated coconut and quintessential fresh Thai herbs is a wonderful showcase of Asian ingredients. Intertwined through the latticework of the snake beans is the ever so flavoursome turmeric and coconut milk dressing. Yum!

Salad of Snake Beans and Grated Coconut

What Are Kaffir Lime Leaves?

Kaffir lime leaves are leaves of a kaffir lime plant. Kaffir limes are very different to that of the regular lime. They have lumpy and knobby looking skin and are very bitter. These limes are not consumed, although its rind does get used for making curry pastes. Their leaves, however, are incredibly sought after.

At the end of each stem, you can find 2 leaves in an hourglass type shape. They are thick and dark green in colour. One side of the leaf is shiny, with a glossy sheen whilst the other side is paler in colour.

This leaf, considered a herb, is an incredibly aromatic one. As such, it is extremely popular in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in Thailand. It’s pungent and robust citrus flavours are perfect for the equally flavoursome Thai cuisine. However, because it is so strong, it is best used sparingly, or it could overpower your dish completely.

Kaffir Lime Leaves or Makrut

How to Use Kaffir Lime Leaves?

Before use, remove the rib of the leaf. It is hard and does not disintegrate in the dish that you’ll be cooking. Certainly not a nice thing to eat raw either.

If eaten raw, like in salads, just pile them one on top of each other, roll and slice very thinly. You can just sprinkle them on top of your salad as we have done in this recipe.

In Southeast Asia, the leaves are put into many dishes either whole or chopped up. They make an appearance in most Thai curry dishes.

Where to Buy Kaffir Lime Leaves?

You will be able to find them in Asian grocers either fresh, frozen or dried. I’ve not had an issue not being able to purchase them fresh so you should be ok too!

What Is Thai Basil?

Thai basil is grown in abundance in Thailand and Myanmar as it grows prolifically in warmer climates. It is an essential herb in Thai cuisine. Unlike its cousin, the Italian basil, Thai basil is slightly spicy with anise and citrus tones.

The leaves are green, small and serrated and grow off purple stems. They are easily found in Asian grocers too.

Some of the famous dishes which use Thai basil include the famous Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken, an array of Thai curries and Vietnamese spring rolls. They can be eaten raw, as we are in this recipe, or placed into dishes last minute. And it is done so last minute as this herb does not withstand long cooking durations as it loses its flavour quickly.

You might also like our Thai Pomelo Salad with Roast Duck which incorporates Thai basil.

Thai Basil Herb

Why I Love Salad of Snake Beans and Grated Coconut

This snake beans recipe is straightforward to make with minimal cooking and a whole lot of fresh aromatic Asian herbs. If I were in Asia, I’d be able to get freshly grated coconut, but in Australia, I buy them frozen from the Asian grocer. I have to say that I am quite surprised by how good it is!

These ingredients bring back many nostalgic Asian dishes for me. Flavours I grew up with and dishes I miss. No matter how I try to replicate them, they are never quite the same as eating them on the streets or in that small tucked away hawker stall only the locals know about.

The latticework of the snake beans is such a bit of fun. Of course, you don’t have to do the same, but we love experimenting with different ways to present our food. Salad isn’t all about tossing everything in a big bowl! The outcome was fabulous and my daughter and I had a great time doing it together!

If you love Asian inspired salads, do check out these salads too: Asian Eggplant Salad with Miso Dressing, Five Spice Tofu Salad with Vietnamese Ham and Gochujang Chicken Salad with Noodles and Tofu

How to Make Salad of Snake Beans and Grated Coconut

How to Prepare the Salad

If you have purchased frozen coconut, let it defrost. Then dry toast in a saucepan on medium heat for 2 minutes. Toss the grated coconut to get an even toast. Set aside to cool.

Remove the rib of the kaffir lime leaves. Then place them on top of one another and then roll them. Slice very thinly.

Place the Thai basil leaves on top of one another and then roll them. Slice very thinly.

Grated Coconut

How to Create the Snake Bean Latticework

Bring a wide or tall saucepan or pot of water to the boil. Add snake beans and boil for 3 minutes or until al dente. Remove from the boiling water and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and set aside until it cools.

Place 8 snake beans vertically on a plate. Evenly spaced.

Pull down 4 snake beans alternately (i.e. 1,3,5,7) and place 1 snake bean on top, horizontally. Put the original 4 snake beans back on top of the horizontal snake bean.

How to Make Snake Beans Latticework

Pull up the other 4 snake beans alternately (i.e. 2,4,6,8), and place the second snake bean horizontally. Put the original 4 snake beans back on top of the second horizontal snake bean.

How to Make Snake Beans Latticework Step 2 of 4.

Continue this process until all 8 snake beans have been placed horizontally and they have all intertwined.

How to Make Snake Beans Latticework Step 3 of 4.

Adjust the beans until they are evenly spread out on the plate.

Following the natural curvature of the plate, use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut off the snake beans that are sticking out over the plate.

How to Make Snake Beans Latticework Step 4 of 4.

How to Make the Coconut Milk Dressing

Add the coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and turmeric powder into a small mixing bowl.

Mix until well combined.

How to Assemble Snake Beans Salad

Mix the grated coconut, kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil together. Put half the mixture on top of the snake bean lattice. Add ¼ of the dressing on top.

Then add the rest of the coconut and herb mix on top. Add another ¼ of the dressing over it.

Sprinkle the dried shallots on top as a garnish.

The coconut absorbs the dressing very quickly. So serve the rest of the dressing in a small bowl on the side so that you can add more as you eat the salad.

Serve immediately.

How good is this snake beans recipe? If you’re a pie baker, this latticework is super easy for you. It is the same method except that the snake beans are a little stiffer to work with. But it’s super fun to do with the kids and the outcome is just fabulous! Enjoy this aromatic Thai inspired salad. It’ll go down a treat!

That’s all!


More Vegan Salad Recipes:


Easy Salad Dressing Recipes:


Salad of Snake Beans and Grated Coconut


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Salad of Snake Beans and Grated Coconut
Print Recipe
5 from 12 votes

Salad of Snake Beans and Grated Coconut

This Salad of Snake Beans, grated coconut and quintessential fresh Thai herbs is a wonderful showcase of Asian ingredients. Intertwined through the latticework of the snake beans is the ever so flavoursome turmeric and coconut milk dressing. Yum!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Budget, Cooked Salad, Easy, Light Sides, Under 20 Minutes
Dietary: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Food Group: Fruit, Herbs, Vegetables
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 122kcal
Author: Amy Chung

Ingredients

Salad

Salad Dressing

Instructions

Salad

  • If you have purchased frozen coconut, let it defrost. Then dry toast in a saucepan on medium heat for 2 minutes. Toss the grated coconut to get an even toast. Set aside to cool.
  • Remove the rib of the kaffir lime leaves. Then place them on top of one another and then roll them. Slice very thinly.
  • Place the Thai basil leaves on top of one another and then roll them. Slice very thinly.

Latticework Instructions

  • Bring a wide or tall pot of water to the boil. Add snake beans and boil for 3 minutes or until al dente. Remove from the boiling water and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and set aside until it cools.
  • Place 8 snake beans vertically on a plate. Evenly spaced.
  • Pull down 4 snake beans alternately (i.e. 1,3,5,7) and place 1 snake bean on top, horizontally. Put the original 4 snake beans back on top of the horizontal snake bean.
  • Pull up the other 4 snake beans alternately (i.e. 2,4,6,8), and place the second snake bean horizontally. Put the original 4 snake beans back on top of the second horizontal snake bean.
  • Continue this process until all 8 snake beans have been placed horizontally and they have all intertwined.
  • Adjust the beans until they are evenly spread out on the plate.
  • Following the natural curvature of the plate, use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut off the snake beans that are sticking out over the plate.

Salad Dressing

  • In a small mixing bowl, add all the ingredients of the dressing together.
  • Mix until well combined.

Assembly

  • Mix the grated coconut, kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil together. Add half the mixture on top of the snake bean lattice. Add ¼ of the dressing on top.
  • Add the rest of the coconut and herb mix on top. Add another ¼ of the dressing over it.
  • Sprinkle the dried shallots on top as a garnish.
  • Serve the rest of the dressing in a small bowl on the side.
  • Serve immediately.

Equipment

Saucepan Large
Knife Set
Mixing Bowl
Chopping Board

Notes

  • This recipe will only work if you can find snake beans as you need the length to be able to create the latticework. If you’re not fussed about the lattice, then just get green or yellow beans as a substitute.
  • You will be able to find frozen grated coconut from your Asian grocer in the frozen section. If you’re lucky enough to get fresh grated coconut, lucky you!
  • Just buy the pre-packaged dried shallots from your Asian grocer.
  • The grated coconut will absorb the turmeric coconut milk dressing very quickly so it's best to have some on the side so you can add more as you are eating the salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 362mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 183IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? We'd Love To See It!Mention @thedevilwearssalad or tag #thedevilwearssalad!
10 comments

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10 comments

Avatar
Alex July 13, 2020 - 9:38 am

5 stars
Love the beautiful presentation of this, and lovely balance of flavours. So delicious.

Reply
Avatar
Estelle Forrest July 13, 2020 - 10:25 am

5 stars
Could this be prettier? And what a great combo of flavor

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Avatar
Sue July 13, 2020 - 10:35 pm

5 stars
The lattice presentation of the snake beans is so inventive! Love it,

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Avatar
Kathryn Donangelo July 14, 2020 - 12:39 am

5 stars
This dish looks so beautiful, healthy and delicious!

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Jas @ All that's Jas July 14, 2020 - 1:51 am

5 stars
How fun is this salad? Perfect for when you want to impress your dinner guests!

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Emily July 14, 2020 - 3:16 am

5 stars
Such a cool looking salad and beautiful flavors !!

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Linda July 14, 2020 - 10:20 am

5 stars
Kaffir lime leaves and basil make a beautiful combo! Not to mention that lattice snake beans. Such a beautiful presentation with a delicious taste in every bite!

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Avatar
Sara July 14, 2020 - 10:24 am

5 stars
This is so fun and visually appealing! I love it!

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Chef Dennis July 14, 2020 - 10:25 am

5 stars
I am so loving this salad right now especially how you arrange it on the plate!

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Avatar
Marina July 14, 2020 - 9:35 pm

5 stars
This salad looks delicious! Love the use of coconut in the this dish

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