This is one of my favourite salads. It’s delightfully fresh, healthy, vibrant and tasty. Every bite is a wonderful explosion of sweet, salty and sour (with the hint of chilli for heat), as well as an array of wonderful textures. If you wanted a more hefty meal, soak a packet of rice stick noodles in boiled water for 7-10 minutes, drain and place at the bottom of the platter under the salad – the dressing will soak into them. You can really use whatever you like for the fresh salad ingredients; just use whatever’s in season.
Serves 4 - 6
800g chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp ginger juice (squeeze the juice out of finely grated or chopped ginger)
1 tsp sesame oil
Zest of 1 lime
¼ tsp ground cumin
Peanut or canola oil, for frying
1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Big pinch chilli flakes (optional)
Finely chopped cabbage
Spring onion, chopped
Carrot, peeled and finely sliced
1 red capsicum, finely sliced
1-2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cob of sweetcorn, steamed and kernels sliced off (or use tinned)
Cucumber, deseeded and sliced
Fresh herbs – basil, mint, coriander
Handful of toasted peanuts
Lime wedges, to garnish
Finely chopped cabbageSlice the chicken into strips, place in a bowl with the rest of the chicken ingredients, and toss to coat. Set aside.
Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to dissolve. Taste and if need be, add more sugar, fish sauce or lime until to your liking. Set aside.
Heat a little peanut or canola oil over a hot BBQ grill or pan, then add the chicken and cook until done, turning a few times. Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl, toss with half the dressing and arrange on a large serving platter. Top with the chicken piece and peanuts then drizzle the rest of the dressing on top. Serve with extra lime wedges, chilli and herbs to the side if you like.