Monday, October 5, 2015

Thai inspired Chicken & Rice Noodle Salad

Thai inspired Chicken & Rice Noodle Salad
Serves 4
Difficulty: Easy
Thai inspired Chicken & Rice Noodle Salad
Hang on to summer a bit longer and make this easy salad before resorting to heavy winter fare.  This can be great for a picnic, comes together in minutes and is surprisingly healthy! Resist the tyranny of a heavy peanut sauce and give this summery Northern Thai inspired rice noodle salad a try. It is loaded with vegetables, herbs and chicken with an addictive dressing of lime, savory umami-laden fish sauce and chilies. Made with those wonderful springy rice noodles, mixed with handfuls of torn mint, cilantro, basil, sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and shredded chicken all doused with the most amazing sweet-sour dressing.  Feel free to add more vegetables such as shredded Napa cabbage and grated carrots. Adjust the number of chilies pending personal “heat” preferences. Finish with a garnish of peanuts on top if you crave a more “peanutty” dish – adds great additional crunch. It is best served cool or at room temperature – and even great the next day.  How perfect is that!!

Thai chicken with amazing hot-sour-slaty-sweet sauce

Thai inspired tomato soup

  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • ¼ C fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 Tb light brown sugar
  • 4 Tb fresh lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno chili, roughly chopped, without seeds or ribs
  • 1 dried Chile de arbol, torn, seeds removed
  • 2-3 poached, roasted or grilled skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tb olive oil, or more to taste
  • 4 small Persian cucumbers, or 2 Japanese, thinly sliced
  • 1 C halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ C roughly chopped cilantro
  • ½ C roughly chopped mint
  • ½ C roughly chopped Thai or other basil 

Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Boil noodles until tender but still al dente, 4 minutes. Drain and run noodles under cold water to cool. Toss noodles dry and set aside.
Cooked noodles
Meanwhile, make the dressing by placing fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and both chilies in a blender or food processor. Blend until the chilies break up and the sauce looks uniform.  Set sauce aside. Shred and roughly chop the cooked skinless chicken breasts (cook it up yourself or just buy a rotisserie chicken) into bite-sized pieces.

Sliced cucumbers

In a large bowl, toss shredded chicken with cooled noodles, shallots, oil, cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs. Toss in dressing until well incorporated preferably 30-60 minutes before serving. Taste and add more fish sauce or lime juice as needed.  Serve at room temperature or cool to rave reviews.


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