Thai-Style Grilled Chicken Salad, with Summer Vegetable Ribbons and a Soy-Honey-Basil Dressing
This will be a tiny post, because I recently made this salad that wiped the words off my mouth.
Now, while I love salads, I have a few rules for them:
- I need a bit of protein in it. And no, soya chunks don't count. Shrimps, tuna, sausages, my all time favourite bacon, ham or even the little bit of chicken.
- No pasta in it. No pasta. I mean it. If I find one little bowtie pasta, I will make you wear it.
- No mayo. My choice of dressing? Vinaigrette, soy-honey, but no mayo-based dressings.
I mean is that really a lot to ask for?
So I took it upon myself to make myself the best salad I've tasted. Here it is, Thai-Style Grilled Chicken Salad, with Summer Vegetable Ribbons and a Soy-Honey-Basil Dressing. It's easy, requires not a lot of previous preparation, and is super-open to substitution. It's sticky sweet chicken, fresh and cool vegetable ribbons, the taste of browned toasty peanuts and a sweet and sour dressing. Serve cold!
Thai-Style Grilled Chicken Salad, with Summer Vegetable Ribbons and a Soy-Honey-Basil Dressing (3-4 servings in the beginning of a meal)
- 1 cucumber
- 1 large carrot
- Onion Greens (optional)
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless
- 2 tbsp Soya sauce
- 1tbsp+1tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp honey
- A handful of toasted sesame seeds
- A handful of toasted peanuts
- Pinch of salt
- Little bit of oil
- Dried/fresh basil (optional)
- Lots of garlic. Preferably fried bits that you get in a bottle, not raw.
- Chilli Flakes
- Wash the chicken, make a few slits in them and marinate in 1tbsp lemon juice, lots of garlic, a bit of salt, and chilli flakes. Let it sit covered for a few hours.
- Time to make it! Make the dressing. Combine the soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice and honey. Keep tasting, and you may alter the measurements of the ingredients. It is supposed to taste sweet, sour and very soya-like!
- Add a dash of the basil if dry, or tear the fresh basil leaves and add. If you have neither, omit it. I got my dry basil from the Cyrpus Food Festival at the Hilton, remember we had that in February?
- Take out the chicken, pour some of the dressing on top, rub it in generously. Leave it like that for another 20 minutes.
- Wash and peel the carrots and cucumber. Use your peeler to slice of ribbons the vegetable. For the carrot, stop the point when the inner core is beginning to come out. For the cucumber, peel till the seed core is coming out. Any more peeling will reduce it to juice, and it won't be crispy anymore.
- Chop up the onion greens as well.
- You can either tear it by hand, or use the entire chicken in one piece. You need to shallow fry this chicken till done and brown and crispy. If you fried it as one whole, cut it up into smaller slices after frying.
- Take out on to a tissue lined plate.
- Toast the peanuts and sesame separately in a microwave.
- Add the sesame to the dressings. Crush the peanuts and reserve.
- Assemble the salad! In one larger bowl, pile together the carrots, cucumber and onion greens.
- Add the chicken pieces.
- Now pour the entire dressing on the salad. Mix very well. Taste a few pieces of chicken ;)
- Add the chilli flakes to it. Mix well.
- Now sprinkle most of the peanuts and mix it in.
- When serving, sprinkle the rest of the toasted nuts on top.
And that's it! If you want, you may add some glass noodles into it too. Vegetarians, you can substitute the chicken with paneer or firm tofu.
Enjoy! It's so easy and healthy!