Recipe: Asian chicken salad
This coriander-packed Thai salad makes a great appetizer, but it’s just as good as a spicy sandwich filling.
To give the salad a fresh, crispy texture, it’s important to rinse the sliced vegetables in ice water. It’s also best eaten within 24 hours.
When you mix the ingredients in the bowl, use both hands. The taste will be much better than if you mix using utensils (wood, metal or otherwise).
Ingredients (for 4 – 8 people)
- 500 g of chicken breast
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of sake
- 200 – 250 g cabbage
- 120 g cucumber
- 50 – 60 g red onion
- 40 – 50 g celery
- 20 g of roughly chopped fresh coriander
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 red peppers (dried and finely chopped)
- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic
- 3 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil
- A pinch of salt
- Roughly chopped fresh coriander
- 4 – 5 tablespoons of crushed peanuts
First we’ll prepare the chicken. Remove any excess moisture with a paper towel then sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt and black pepper onto all sides of the chicken breast. Place the chicken on a plate then rest it for 5 minutes. Pour 2 tablespoons of sake over it then wrap the plate with cling film (2 layers) before cooking it in the microwave for 5 ½ minutes. Take the plate out of the microwave and allow the chicken to rest until it is cool enough to touch.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the dressing. Mix all of the ingredients other than the peanut oil and salt in a large bowl. Now add the peanut oil. Do so slowly stirring the dressing with your other hand. Check the flavor and add salt to taste.
As the chicken cools, prepare the vegetables. Rinse the cabbage then slice into pieces 1 – 2 mm thick. Rinse the cucumber and cut into slices approximately 1 mm thick. Peel the red onion then slice thinly, following the grain. Remove the strings from the celery and slice the stems diagonally into 1 – 2 mm pieces. Cut the leaves into pieces 1 – 2 mm thick.
Fill a large bowl with ice water (enough to cover the cabbage, cucumber, red onion and celery) and rinse them for 5 – 6 minutes before draining.
Once cool, break the chicken breast by hand into bite-sized pieces (follow the grain). Add this together with the liquid on the plate into the bowl containing the dressing.
Now add the vegetables to the chicken/dressing mixture.
Add 20 g of roughly chopped coriander and 2 tablespoons of finely chopped mint to the bowl. Combine all the ingredients by hand.
Decorate the salad with fresh coriander and crushed peanuts before serving.