This week's salad is Jerry's choice. It's a fantastic Thai salad that thrilled our taste buds with a wonderful mix of flavors.
Thai Chicken Salad
For the chicken:
4 roasted chicken breasts
½ tsp chopped galangal (can substitute with ginger)
Juice of two limes
1 ½ tsp minced bird’s eye chilies (or 1 tsp chili paste such as sambel oelek)
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 kaffir lime laves – centre rib removed, cut in a chiffonade
¾ tsp fish sauce
Shred the chicken breast.
Mix all of the dressing ingredients.
Toss the shredded chicken with the dressing. Adjust the seasonings – there should be a balance of hot, sour, and salt. To adjust seasonings in Thai food follow these rough guidelines . . . if it is too sweet add more fish sauce . . . too salty add more sugar . . . not tangy enough - add more lime juice . . . not hot enough - add more chili or some sambel oelek
For the salad base:
2 T fish sauce
2 T palm sugar – (can substitute with regular or brown sugar)
¼ cup lime juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 bird’s eye chilies, minced
1 bunch watercress, trimmed
8 Napa cabbage leaves cut in a chiffonade
16 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cup blanched green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
½ bunch cilantro, leaves trimmed and coarsely chopped
½ bunch mint, leaves trimmed and cut in a chiffonade
½ cup roasted peanuts (non-salted) or cashews, chopped
Mix the fish sauce through to chilies in a jar. Stir/shake well to dissolve sugar. Taste for seasonings). Store it in the refrigerator overnight so the flavours come together.
Mix together the watercress through mint in a large bowl.
Toss with dressing.
Divide the vegetable mixture amongst 4 plates.
Add the chicken on top of the vegetable mixture.
Sprinkle with chopped, roasted nuts. You can also add some cilantro to garnish.
My notes: I did a few substitutions to the recipe to accommodate our particular tastes. Instead of chicken breast, I used chicken thighs. I'm not too fond of cabbage but do like bok choy so that's what I used but I blanched it (don't like raw cabbage). Bird's eye chili peppers are a bit too hot for my taste so I used a serrano pepper. And, at the last minute I felt like adding half a cucumber thinly sliced.
I also added a larger amount of chicken to the salad because my husband is not big on salads and I knew he was going to go more for the chicken than for the greens.
Thanks Jerry for sharing this delicious recipe!