Coconut chicken salad

all details

A lip-smacking contrast of soft and crunchy; slippery rice noodles with crisp cucumber, firm peanuts and chips of chilli.

Coconut chicken salad
Photo: Marina Oliphant

Ingredients

  • For the chicken
  • 2 chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp grated palm sugar
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • For the dressing
  • 2 green chillies, halved and deseeded (leave seeds in if you want it hot)
  • 3 tbsp grated palm sugar
  • juice of 1-2 limes
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp of cooled coconut poaching liquid
  • For the salad
  • 1/3 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup of peanut oil
  • 6 large dried red chillies, halved and deseeded
  • 1-2 green papayas, peeled and cut very thinly (a mandolin is good) a handful each of Thai basil and coriander leaves
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, very finely sliced

Method

Gently poach the chicken in the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and lime leaves until just cooked (about 10 minutes depending on size). Leave the chicken to cool in the liquid. Once cool, shred by hand.

Crush the chillies in a mortar and pestle, then add the sugar and combine until you have a wet paste.

Add remaining ingredients and pound (you can use a food processor but the mortar and pestle gives a better result). Adjust to taste. If the dressing is too hot add more coconut liquid. For the salad: Place the rice in a wok over high heat and stir until the rice turns opaque and lightly toasted. When cool, crush into fine crumbs in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Place the clean wok over high heat with the peanut oil. When the oil is hot, add the dried chillies and move about with a ladle. They will turn dark brown very quickly. Turn onto kitchen paper. When cool, crush to a powder as for the rice.

Combine the papaya, chicken, lime leaves, herbs and dressing. Place on serving plates and sprinkle with the ground rice and blackened chilli.

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  • Main Ingredients - Chicken
  • Cuisine - Thai

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