Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.


Spicy Thai Inspired Barley Salad

Dinner, Lunch, Meats, Pork, SaladTove Balle-PedersenComment
Spicy Thai Inspired Barley Salad

Spicy Thai Inspired Barley Salad

What's for dinner tonight? The daily pressure to come up with a tasty, healthy option. Even though I have a Food Blog, I DO get surprised, that we need to have dinner every night. And I do tend to grab to the 5-8 easiest and well-known dishes or even take-out. I know choking, right?

One of my Facebook friends posted a Thai Pork salad from NY Times, and this inspired me to create this dish. And WOW - we loved it. The different texture and flavors worked perfectly. This one is a keeper in my house.
If you're not big on spicy food, just add a small amount of chili, so you only tickle your tastebuds.


  • 1 pork tenderloin


  • 2 serrano chilies
  • handfull cilantro + stems
  • 5 scallions
  • 3 limes, zest & juice
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2-inch fresh ginger
  • 4-5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • ½ green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 1 serrano chili, julienned 
  • 3 carrots, in thin peels
  • 1-2 cups pearl barley grain, cooked and cooled
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 10 mint leaves, chopped
  • a small handful roasted peanuts


Trim off the silver skin from the tenderloin and pat the trimmed tenderloin dry with paper towel. In a blender combine soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice and zest, shallots, cilantro, half the sugar, garlic, ginger, chiles and salt. Purée until smooth. Save half of the mixture for the dressing, add the rest of the sugar to the dressing, and set aside. Marinate the pork in the rest of the mixture in an airtight container over night.  

Preheat the oven to 320 ℉ (160℃).

Sear the pork in a ovenproof skillet, and roast it in the oven until meat reaches an internal temperature of 150℉ (65℃), about 20-25 minutes. Let meat rest while you prepare the salad. 

In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients, reserving the herbs and nuts.

Whisk the dressing and use just enough to dress the salad.  Let the salad sit for a few minutes for the flavors to blend, then right before serving, add herbs, nuts and maybe some more dressing.

Serve the salad with the sliced pork on top, sprinkle with some more nuts.




Satay Sauce

SauceTove Balle-PedersenComment

Satay sauce is so scrumptious, the peanut buttery sweet slightly curried sauce is perfect with chicken and spring rolls. Because I didn't grow on peanut butter, this sauce is the best thing you can make with peanut butter, for me it's properly the only thing.


  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 150 g unsweetened peanut butter (I used an old fashioned style crunchy peanut butter only containing peanuts)
  • ¼ tablespoon Thai fish sauce (or use salt to taste)
  • ¼ cup (50 g) palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar 
  • ½ cup water


Put everything into a medium heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to let the sauce scorch. Take the pot off the heat, let the sauce cool down to room temperature, and serve the sauce with satay or spring rolls 

This peanut sauce will keep in a container in the refrigerator for weeks. The refrigerated sauce will thicken up considerably, but just add some water, reheat it and it is ready to serve.