Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Thai" Chicken Salad

For me, moving to New York and falling in love with Thai food seemed to go hand in hand.  I quickly realized that this is one genre of food that had seriously been lacking in my California upbringing.  And while it pains me that I'll probably never find comparable Mexican food in my new hometown, I've realized that on the other hand I'll probably also never find comparable Thai food in California.  So to each its own.  Bring on the Thai, New York.  Although I don't really attempt to re-create many of the Thai dishes I've come to love (note the purposeful quotations in this recipe title), this salad is one item I've taken a stab at.  Traditional Thai Papaya Salad is prepared with green, unripened papaya, cucumbers, carrot, tomatoes, crushed peanuts and a slightly sweet and salty dressing.  It's simple, delicious, and the perfect compliment to any spicy Thai specialty- such as my favorite, lemongrass chicken.  So take a baby step into Thai cooking with my take on this salad.  I use a little green cabbage in place of the papaya (because I've yet to find an unripened papaya in regular grocery stores) and the addition of chicken makes it a little more substantial as a main course option.

3 cups mixed greens
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped (or more to taste!)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 chicken breasts, grilled or pan sauteed

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
a pinch of salt

Begin by grilling or sauteing the chicken breasts, seasoning simply with salt and pepper on both sides.  While the chicken is cooking away, get your other salad fixings together.  Combine mixed greens and cabbage in a large bowl.  Shred the carrots (or buy them pre-shredded as I do), chop your tomatoes and cucumber and toss with lettuce.  When chicken is cooked through, remove from pan and allow to cool.  When the chicken is cooled, chop and combine in bowl.  Whisk together your dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and pour over salad.  Top with cilantro and chopped peanuts and dig in!  Make sure to dress only half of the salad you've built if you plan on saving some for lunch!

Makes 2 large Thai-riffic salads :)

No comments:

Post a Comment