Well, friends. My obsession with Asian food continues. This salad was light and summery, with a pleasant blend of flavors and textures. I didn't like it quite as well as the Asian Chicken Salad with Homemade Peanut Dressing, but I really liked the peanut dressing one. This Thai salad has fewer ingredients, which makes for a faster prep, but also less complex layers of flavor. To make this meal into a side dish, omit the chicken.
For those of us who don't live in the tropics with access to green papayas, Lindsay at Pinch of Yum recommends green mango for a similar flavor profile, or any crunchy veggie for a similar texture. I intended to use cucumber but forgot to buy one, so I ended up just using a little more cabbage and carrots.
While we're on the topic of cabbage and carrots, I absolutely cheated and bought pre-shredded slaw and pre-shredded carrots. Some day I will buy a grating/shredding blade for my food processor, but until that day comes I will sometimes do things like buy pre-shredded vegetables.
Chopped Thai Chicken Salad
Slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum
Yield: 2-3 servings
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 small head green or white cabbage (1 cup shredded)
1/2 large carrot (3/4 cup shredded)
1/2 green papaya (3/4 cup shredded)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup green onions
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 bird’s eye chili peppers, minced (optional)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 Tbsp. oil
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. water
Cook chicken using your desired method. Let cool, and shred with two forks or chop. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, carrot, papaya (or substitute), and chicken.
To make the dressing, put all dressing ingredients into a mini food processor and give it a whir. If you don't have a mini food processor, mince the garlic and chili peppers, and whisk them together with the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, oil, and fish sauce until smooth. Then whisk in the peanut butter and water until smooth.
Pour the dressing over the salad; toss to combine. Add the cilantro, green onions, and chopped peanuts. Serve chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to one day. For best results, keep the leftover salad and dressing separate until ready to serve.
Nutrition Information (per serving, from Pinch of Yum)
284 calories; 15 g fat; 25 g carbs; 17 g protein