I've been on a bit of a Thai food kick.
I think it began with the delicious chicken satay...
then was encouraged by the amazing stir fry I made using the leftover peanut sauce...
and continued by the great little Thai restaurant my friends and I found in Mukilteo on our reunion...
and now, even as I bring to you this scrumptious salad, a Thai pizza recipe has gotten awfully cozy with next Friday night.
I'll confess. I'm not a huge fan of curry. I'm allergic to coconut. I don't even like spicy food. So what is it that draws me to Thai food?
What do you think?
If you guessed "peanuts" or "peanut butter" you would have hit the nail on the proverbial head. Let's be honest. That's all I'm really in it for. The excuse to spread peanut butter all over salads, pizza, noodles, chicken, whatever.
This salad lives up to its name. Crunch. Just about every ingredient in here gives that satisfying feeling. Starting with my new friend.
Readers, meet napa cabbage.
|Napa Cabbage, meet readers.|
I had never had the privilege of acquaintance with such a cabbage before, in fact, I did not even know such a variety existed until I looked for it at our local supermarket! It is very pretty, chops up nicely, and looks more like iceberg lettuce than its more well known comrade, green cabbage.
Next on the crunch list are carrots and cucumbers. I don't need to tell you about them, do I?
Then we have edamame. Oh, elusive edamame. I could not find these green soybeans anywhere, so what did I do? I subbed in another crunchy lookalike. Sugar snap peas! They worked like a charm with their fresh taste and signature snap. Oh, and I also substituted chives from my garden for the green onion. Yum.
Last on the crunchy lineup are, of course, peanuts. Yay peanuts!
And what is poured on top of all the crunchy goodness? This fabulous tangy-sweet dressing.
Can you guess what's in here? PEANUT BUTTER.
Oh, and other things.
Thai Crunch Chicken Salad
slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is
serves about 6
1 napa cabbage, chopped
1 red cabbage, chopped
1 red cabbage, chopped
6 green onions (or a bunch of chives)
1 large cucumber, peeled, sliced and quartered
2/3 cup chopped or sliced carrots
2/3 cup chopped sugar snap peas (or edamame)
2/3 cup torn fresh cilantro
2/3 cup chopped peanuts
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (grilled is delicious!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Dressing and Marinade
1 cup sweet chili sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup lite canned coconut milk (or regular skim milk if you're allergic like me!)
6 TB brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
2 TB creamy peanut butter
2 tsp sized knobs of fresh ginger, grated
2 limes, juiced
1 TB soy sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking pan with nonstick spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then place in the baking dish.
Combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan, whisking to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 3-4 min. until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and pour half of the sauce over the chicken, turning chicken to coat completely. Set remaining sauce aside to dress salad.
Bake chicken 25-30 min. or until cooked through.
While chicken is cooking, combine all salad ingredients (except for peanuts) in a large bowl and toss. When chicken is done, let cool a few minutes, then shred or chop.
Serve salad, top with chicken, peanuts and dressing.