This easy Thai inspired vinaigrette salad dressing mixes up in just a few minutes. With Traditional Thai flavors of peanut, lime and curry, this dressing will make any salad pop with flavor.
Vinaigrette Ratio of Oil to Vinegar
A vinaigrette is simply a combination of oil and vinegar. The types of oil and vinegar can vary widely according to the type of vinaigrette you’re making.
The traditional ratio for a vinaigrette is one part of vinegar to three parts oil. This would mean that if you started with one tablespoon of vinegar, you would use three tablespoons oil. However this is just a starting point. If you prefer your dressing a little more or less acidic, you can change the ratio according to your taste.
How to Keep Oil and Vinegar from Separating.
Just like oil and water, oil and vinegar do not like to stay combined. As long as you don’t mind giving your vinaigrette a vigorous shake before using it, you can make the recipe as is. However if you want it to stay you emulsified (combined), the easiest and best ingredient to do this is xanthan gum. If you bake gluten-free, perhaps you’ve heard of it before. It’s a binder that’s used in gluten-free baking and in a lot of bottled salad dressings to keep the oil and vinegar from separating. Just a quarter teaspoon whisked into a vinaigrette will keep all the ingredients together.
The acidic ingredients in this vinaigrette are rice vinegar and lime juice. Rice vinegar is a traditional Thai ingredient. Lime leaves are the usual way to get lime flavor into Thai dishes, but for a salad dressing, fresh squeezes lime juice works best
Peanut oil is another traditional Thai ingredient. I highly recommend using roasted peanut oil. The flavor is very different from plain peanut oil with an aroma and flavor that are intoxicating.
Galangal is a root similar to ginger that is used in Thai cuisine. It has a glossier more tanslucent skin, but otherwise looks a lot like ginger. Ginger is a bit more pungent and less citrusy than galangal. It can be difficult to find galangal in regular grocery stores so you can use ginger as a substitute.
Roasted peanut oil has more sediment which will cause it to solidify when refrigerated. So the recipe includes a little bit of a neutral vegetable oil like sunflower, avocado, canola etc. to help it remain liquid when chilled.
Curry powder adds traditional Thai spices. If you can find it, a Thai curry powder is best. Spicely Organics has a Thai curry which is also certified gluten-free if you need it. You may have seen Spicely products in you grocery store – they come in little green boxes.
A little bit of salt and a little bit of sweetener balance and bring all the other flavors together. This is another chance to adjust the flavor of the vinaigrette to your preference. Taste it before you serve. Do you want it a little sweeter? Add more sweetener a half teaspoon at a time. Is it a little blah? Maybe it needs more salt. Add just two pinches at a time. Do you prefer it more sour? Add more lime juice or vinegar.
Easy Thai Inspired Vinaigrette Dressing
- ¼ c lime juice (about 1 lime)
- ¼ c rice vinegar
- 3 Tbsp coconut water
- 1 inch piece of galangal or ginger
- 1 Tbsp agave or other sweetener agave syrup substitute
- 1 tsp curry powder, Thai curry preferred
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ c roasted peanut oil
- ¼ c oil – avocado, sunflower, canola or other neutral flavored vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum to emulsify (optional)*
- Peel the ginger or galangal using the edge of a spoon. See my post How to Use Fresh Ginger for a quick visual. Use a microplane or the finest side of a grater to grate 1 tsp, packed of galangal or ginger.
- Place all the ingredients except the oils and xanthan gum, in a medium sized mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
- While whisking, gradually drizzle in the oils. Whisk vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
- Taste. Feel free to adjust the flavor to your preference. Do you want it a little sweeter? Add more sweetener a half teaspoon at a time. Is it a little blah? Maybe it needs more salt. Add 2-3 pinches at a time. Or another teaspon of sweetener. Do you prefer it more sour? Add more lime juice or vinegar.
- If using xanthan gum, sprinkle on top of the vinaigrette and whisk vigorously. Or, transfer the dressing to a bottle or jar, sprinkle in the xanthan gum and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
- This dressing can stay at room temperature for 2 days or refrigerated, for at least 10 days.