Here I am bringing you yet ANOTHER Thai dish! I really cannot get enough of the bright, zesty flavors of Thai food. Cilantro, mint and spices always seem to make up the backbone of my Thai dishes. That combination is like a magic potion – It brings life to anything! Of course, as I warned you before, don’t be scared of the fish sauce – It can smell quite pungent out of the bottle, but once it gets mixed with the other ingredients the flavor REALLY does mellow out.
I think the most important ingredient in this dish is the toasted rice powder. I like to think of the rice powder as my Thai alternative to croutons. It gives an amazing crunch to your finished salad. It’s also got a nice, nutty, creamy flavor. I toast my rice kernels in a small sauté pan and then grind them up in a coffee grinder that I use exclusively for grinding spices. You could also use a mortar & pestle. Don’t skip the rice powder, I guarantee it’s worth the extra little effort!
You have the option of serving this dish over rice or lettuce, or both. You could also make lettuce cups and serve the mixture wrapped up in there. Enjoy this one!
Thai Chicken Salad with Mint & Cilantro
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 red or green jalapeno
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass remove the tough outer leaves and slice the tender white core
- 1 1/4 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
- 1 lb . chicken white or dark meat
- 2 medium shallots sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems
- Lettuce or Rice for serving
- Toppings: Shredded carrots tomatoes, cucumber
- 1/2 - 1 tablespoon ground toasted rice
Make the dressing: Mince the garlic and one of the chile halves and place in a small bowl. Slice the remaining chile half into thin rings and add it to the bowl, along with the lime juice, fish sauce, lemongrass, brown sugar, and red chile flakes. Stir well and set aside.
Cook the chicken by grilling or sautéing for 5-6 minutes per side. Let cool slightly and thinly slice.
In a medium bowl, combine the cooked chicken, shallots, mint, and cilantro. Stir the dressing and pour it on top. Toss gently. Add the ground toasted rice, if using, and toss.
Serve over lettuce or rice.
- Riesling pairs great with spicy dishes. Not just because of its mouthwatering acidity or intense fruit, but because it comes in so many varying degrees of sweetness that you can almost always find a Riesling that will go with your meal. I paired my meal with a Poet’s Leap Riesling that we picked up on our recent trip to Long Shadows in Walla Walla, Washington.
- For ground toasted rice, put 2 tablespoons uncooked rice in a small, dry frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are toasted and golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and then grind into a coarse powder in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. You don’t want to skip this, it REALLY does add such an interesting texture to the dish!
- This is also great with steak – NY Strip Steak works wonderfully. Just let the meat rest for five minutes after cooking. Then slice and add any accumulated juices to your dressing mixture.