Servings: Serves 4
Ingredients 2 Tbsp. unsweetened finely shredded coconut2 Tbsp. white sesame seeds1/2 cup peanut oil , divided1/4 cup finely chopped ginger (from a 4-inch piece)1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 limes)1 1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar2 shallots , thinly sliced2 Tbsp. flourKosher salt to taste3 cups melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, and/or watermelon), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes1/3 cup chopped peanuts , toasted1/4 cup mixture of chopped basil and cilantro and mint
Note: Fish sauce is used in Southeast Asian cooking as a salty seasoning.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add coconut and toast it, stirring often, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
To make dressing: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add sesame seeds to skillet and toast, stirring constantly, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup peanut oil and ginger; cook, stirring often, until very fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large, heatproof bowl and whisk in lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar; set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss shallots with flour; shake off excess flour. Heat remaining 1/4 cup peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 30 seconds. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until deep golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Line a plate with paper towels. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to plate and season with salt to taste; set aside to cool.
To make salad: Combine dressing, melon, peanuts, herbs, coconut, and shallots; salt to taste. Toss well; serve immediately.