From my friend Jerry comes this outstanding salad. I’m a big fan of Thai food, although I’m not in love with triple-star heat. So I toned this down a little, and it is reflected in the amounts of chili paste and chiles that I used in this recipe. I couldn’t find any kaffir lime leaves, or lemongrass, so this version reflects that. The flavors of this salad hit all the right tastebuds on our palates; save room for seconds.
Chicken salad, Thai style
For the chicken:
4 roasted chicken breasts, shredded
1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger
juice of two limes
1/3 teaspoon chili paste
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
Mix all the dressing ingredients. Toss the shredded chicken with the dressing.
For the salad base:
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 bunch watercress, trimmed
8 Napa cabbage leaves cut in a chiffonade
16 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup blanched green beans, cut into 1″ lengths
1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 bunch mint, leaves trimmed and chiffonaded
1/2 cup roasted peanuts or cashews (non-salted), chopped
Mix the fish sauce through to the jalapeno in a jar. Shake well to dissolve sugar. Store in the refrigerator overnight if you so desire so that the flavors come together. (You can also omit that step.)
Mix together the watercress through the mint in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing.
To serve: Divide the vegetables mixture among 4 plates. Add the chicken on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Makes 8 servings.