One of the biggest “rules” of Thai cooking is packing as much flavor into a dish as possible. This pasta salad is equal parts refreshing and decadent, loosely inspired by crab fried rice (with real lump crab), lots of crunchy raw vegetables, juicy pineapple, and tons of herbs. The creamy dressing is packed with a triple threat of garlic, ginger, and lemongrass, plus punchy zestiness from lime juice and Dijon mustard, signature fish sauce, and sesame oil. This is your picnic-ready main dish, backyard BBQ side dish, or a way to satisfy Thai takeout cravings in a new way. If you’re gluten intolerant, you can swap in rice noodles.
¼ cup lime juice
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh lemongrass (very tender pale insides only), finely minced
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound short pasta (such as radiatore or fusilli)
1 teaspoon neutral oil (such as vegetable or canola)
8 ounces lump crab, drained
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 Persian cucumbers (4 ounces), halved lengthwise then cut into ¼-inch half moons
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 carrot, halved lengthwise then cut into ¼-inch half moons
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped scallion greens
½ cup cup chopped cilantro
½ cup chopped basil
¼ cup chopped mint
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