The other day, I had a mega-craving for Thai food. But, alas, I didn’t have any Thai basil on hand, or rice noodles (because of course, like the uh…non-Thai person that I am, the things that I most associate with Thai cooking are pad gra prow (Thai basil stir-fry) and pad Thai). BUT I did have some limes, cilantro, and avocados (I was also jonesin’ for some guacamole, but that never panned out because of the said craving for thai food. Gotta go get more avocados. And figure out how to control my rabid cravings). Thus began my quest for a makeshift Thai(ish) dinner.
This Thai salad is what I got. It has great flavors in the dressing like lime, peanut, ginger, garlic, green onion, and cilantro. It’s got a TON of fresh vegetables, making it really colorful. And healthy. Imagine that!
Plus, with the chicken and avocado on top, this Thai Chicken salad is an entire dinner. It was gooooood. Here’s how I made it.
For the Thai salad:
- ½ head cabbage, shredded
- 4 carrots, shredded
- 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 2 ribs celery, sliced thinly
- 1 ½ cups frozen shelled edamame
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt & pepper
- olive oil, for cooking the chicken
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup chopped roasted peanuts
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 heaping tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 lime, juiced and zested
- 2 scallions
- 2/3 cup cilantro
First, prep all the vegetables. It’s a lot of veg, so chopping may take a little while, but the process is made significantly easier if you’ve got a food processor with shredding and slicing attachments. The cabbage can be done with the slicing blade, and you can use the shredding blade for the carrots. Oh technology, how I love thee.
Slice the onion, cucumber, and celery. I prefer to do these with a knife. Just because…I don’t know. Once you start questioning the fundamentals, the whole thing falls apart! Put all the vegetables into a bowl.
Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. Then measure out your frozen edamame. We love frozen edamame. No shelling needed.
Blanch your edamame by bringing a small pot of water to a boil, adding the edamame and cooking for 90 seconds. Shock it by putting the cooked edamame into the ice water.
And add them to the rest of the salad ingredients.
Stir all the veg together. Eat more colors! It’s good for you. But you’re here, so you already knew that, I’m sure. It was at this point that I was seriously lamenting the fact that there was no red cabbage at the grocery store. Because red cabbage would have been awesome. And then I started imagining that I actually had a garden, with a cabbage patch. Then I started thinking about Cabbage Patch kids…and how exactly they have anything at all to do with cabbage…
Sorry. Lost myself for a minute there.
Split each chicken breast in half so that you have 2 thinner halves. This will help the chicken cook faster. (You can skip this step if you don’t mind the chicken taking a little longer to cook). Season the chicken with salt and pepper (best to not skip that one).
Heat a pan with some olive oil and sear the chicken for a few minutes on each side, until they’re cooked through. Set aside.
Make the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients in a food processor (or just chop everything up by hand and whisk it all together in a bowl). As you can see by the little flecks of orange on the sides of the bowl and the spoon, I didn’t bother washing the food processor between the carrots and the dressing. Because there’s really no need for that, folks. Think of the time and water saved!
Slice up an avocado. Has anything ever looked more amazingly delicious?
And chop the peanuts.
Spoon out some of the salad onto a plate or a into a bowl. Drizzle some of the dressing on the salad and top with the chicken, sliced avocado and peanuts. Not bad for a Thai(ish) attempt at a salad on a Sunday night.
Praise be to the food gods! And sorry to any Thai folks who may be looking at this and thinking…*How DARE she call that Thai!??!!* I really like your food, and I was just trying to make do with what limited resources I had at my disposal!! *sob*
Thai or not, it was good.
Thai Salad with Chicken and Lime Peanut Dressing
FOR THE SALAD:
- Start by prepping all the vegetables. Shred the cabbage and carrots (if you have one, use the slicing blade of your food processor for the cabbage and the shredding blade for the carrots. If not, you can also just cut them with a knife). Slice the onion, cucumber, and celery. Put all the vegetables into a bowl.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. Then blanch your edamame by bringing a small pot of water to a boil, adding the edamame and cooking for 90 seconds. Shock it by putting the cooked edamame into the ice water. Drain and add to the rest of the salad ingredients.
- Split each chicken breast in half so that you have 2 thinner halves. This will help the chicken cook faster. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat a pan with some olive oil and sear the chicken for a few minutes on each side, until they’re cooked through. Set aside.
- Make the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients in a food processor (or just chop everything up by hand and whisk it all together in a bowl).
- Drizzle some of the dressing on the salad and top with slices of chicken, sliced avocado, and chopped roasted peanuts.