Kohlrabi has never been my favorite vegetable. Okay, not even close. It’s more like my almost least favorite vegetable (sorry beets, you’re still the reigning champ there). It’s not that I dislike the taste or the texture of kohlrabi, it’s just that it’s so...blah. Me, I’d much rather be eating something bright and flavorful.
Of course, when one is participating in a CSA that, for some reason or other, seems to grow a lot of kohlrabi, one has to get over this dislike. It may be kohlrabi, but I still feel bad letting any of my beautiful CSA produce go to waste. Which is why I’ve had to become a bit creative in the kohlrabi department.
Case in point, our latest CSA box, which contained three (that’s right THREE) kohlrabi bulbs. Admittedly, they were on the smaller side, and also admittedly, they will probably be the last CSA kohlrabi until fall, but still. That’s a lot of kohlrabi. Fortunately, I had a plan. Since I’ve always felt that kohlrabi was a bit lacking in the flavor department, I usually try to prepare it in some way that adds a big hit of flavor. I tend to do things like pickle it, ferment it into kimchi, or in this case, make it into a spicy, flavor-packed salad.
Inspired by Thai green papaya salad, I shredded the kohlrabi, mixed it with fresh herbs, chiles, and shallot, then tossed it with an ultra-flavorful fish sauce and lime dressing. Topped with some crunchy peanuts, this salad makes kohlrabi - dare I say - delicious. Mission accomplished.
Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad
If you have a food processor with a shredding attachment, now is the time to use it. You’ll be able to shred even the most daunting amount of kohlrabi in seconds.
- ½ lb kohlrabi, shredded or finely julienned
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh Thai basil
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 medium shallot, very thinly sliced
- 1 red chile (or more to taste), very thinly sliced
- 4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 ½ Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
- ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1. In a large bowl, combine the shredded kohlrabi, mint, Thai basil, cilantro, shallot, and chile.
2. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic until well combined. Pour over the kohlrabi mixture, and toss to mix well.
3. Mix in ⅔ of the peanuts, then transfer salad and any juices in the bottom of the bowl to a serving plate. Top salad with remaining ⅓ of the peanuts and serve immediately.