This quick Thai Carrot Slaw is simple, fresh and flavorful. Julienned carrots, green onions, thai basil and cilantro are tossed in a slightly sweet and spicy dressing consisting of lime juice, chili garlic paste and fish sauce. A delicious side to your favorite Thai main dish. Serves 4 (or about 1/3 cup per person)
When making certain stir-fry recipes or rice bowls, I really love a fresh crunchy salad or slaw to go with it. Don’t get me wrong, I still make my 10-minute roasted broccoli but I enjoy the contrast of cool and crisp next to warm and saucy.
It’s an obsession and I’m okay with it.
And I make this quick carrot slaw whenever I make Thai basil beef – which I plan on sharing later this week! This slaw is crunchy and slightly sweet and spicy which also pairs well with the flavors in Thai basil beef.
To Make This Quick Carrot Slaw You Will Need:
- sambal oelek – Also known as chili garlic paste and can be found in most major grocery stores.
- sugar – Adds flavor with a touch of sweetness.
- lime juice – For acidity and bright citrusy flavor.
- olive oil – Lends richness and flavor.
- fish sauce – Adds a salty, slighlty briny fish flavor. I use the Red Boat brand. (not sponsored)
- carrots – Lends distinct flavor and crunch.
- green onion – For a pop of green and subtle onion flavor.
- thai basil – This has distinct basil meets anise or black licorice flavor. Italian basil can be used but the flavor will be different.
- cilantro – Fresh, citrusy (and to some a soapy) flavor.
- salt – Taste and season to your preference. You may not even need it!
In a medium bowl, measure and add in 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 to 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (do this to your spice preference), a pinch of sugar and a few splashes of fish sauce.
Whisk to combine.
Next thinly julienne the carrots and green onions. For the carrots, I use a julienne peeler (I’ll link it in the recipe printable). As for the green onions, I just cut them into smaller sections and thinly sliced.
When you’re ready to serve, add the julienned carrots and green onions along with 1/4 cup thinly sliced thai basil and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro into into the bowl with the dressing.
Toss to combine. Taste and season with salt if desired.
Can Italian basil be used instead of Thai Basil in this recipe?
Thai Basil has such a distinct flavor that is incomparable. While in a pinch Italian basil can be used, you would be missing the specific flavor profile that Thai basil brings.
Where Can I find Thai Basil?
Asian markets should have it, along with some grocery stores and markets. I grow thai basil every year in my herb garden because where I live, it’s not readily available.
Can I Make this slaw in advance?
You can make the dressing and prep the veggies and herbs but don’t combine the two until just before serving. This is because the carrots will lose their crunch the longer they sit in the dressing.
Enjoy! And if you give this Quick Thai Carrot Slaw recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!