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Thai Collard Green Salad and Coconut Cornbread Crêpes

thai collard green salad

Green papaya salad is the inspiration for this recipe. It is traditionally served with sticky rice and roasted chicken marinated in yellow curry cooked over hot coals. In this recipe, I swap the papaya for collards. Similar to how the acid from the lime and fish sauce breaks down the fibrous papaya, the acids here tenderize the collard greens. Collards are in the cabbage family and can be used to make a crunchy slaw whose flavors are light and bright. To make a creamy version, just add a little sour cream or mayonnaise. The highlight of this dish is how the fresh sweet flavor of the collards comes through, and paired with the sweetness of the corn in the crêpes, it is magical. – Chef Kenny Gilbert



1⁄4 cup dried shrimp
1⁄2 cup coconut palm sugar
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Thai (bird) chiles, stemmed
1⁄2 pint red grape tomatoes
1⁄2 medium red bell pepper, cut into medium dice (1⁄2 cup)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1⁄4 cup fish sauce or Golden Mountain seasoning sauce
Juice of 2 or 3 limes (1⁄4 cup)
1 bunch collard greens, leaves stemmed and thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1⁄2 bunch Thai basil or sweet basil, leaves only (1⁄2 cup)


1⁄2 cup self-rising flour
1⁄2 cup cornmeal
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 cup canned coconut milk, preferably Thai Kitchen
1⁄4 cup coconut oil


Crushed roasted peanuts, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish


Make the Salad

1. Use a mortar and pestle or a food proces- sor fitted with a metal blade to crush or finely mince the dried shrimp, palm sugar, garlic and Thai chiles.

2. Add the grape tomatoes, bell pepper and salt. Pound together gently or pulse in the food processor.
3. Pour in the fish sauce and lime juice. Mash together or pulse in the food processor.

4. Add the collard greens and pound gently to break up the fibers or briefly pulse in the food processor. Transfer to a large serving bowl. 5. Gently mix in the peanuts and Thai basil. Reserve until ready to serve.

Make the Crêpes

1. Heat a pancake griddle or nonstick skil- let on medium.
2. Combine the self-rising flour, cornmeal, sugar, ginger and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Add the eggs, coconut milk and coconut oil to the flour mixture; mix thoroughly. 4. Put 1⁄4 cup of the batter on the hot grid- dle. Cook for 1 minute, or until the top of the crêpe has lots of bubbles.

5. Use a spatula to help you flip the crêpe. Cook the other side for 30 seconds.
6. Transfer the crêpe to a platter and cover with a kitchen towel. Repeat until all the batter is used. As the crêpes finish cook- ing, stack them on top of one another and cover with the towel to keep warm until ready to serve.

The Build

Either roll the salad in the crêpes or enjoy it as a side. Garnish with crushed roasted peanuts and lime wedges.

Recipe from Chef Kenny Gilbert’s Southern Cooking Global Flavors

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