I'm trying to cook and eat lighter now that spring is here and I may be forced any day now to squeeze into a pair of shorts. This is a quick chicken salad I improvised the other evening. Its pedigree is distinctly southeast Asian, with ginger, lime, peanuts, cilantro, and fish sauce building its flavor profile. The salad is mostly composed of fresh vegetables, with no oil in the ‘dressing’, so the caloric impact is cheerfully low. It is, however, so addictively delicious that you may find yourself eating more than intended.
Recipe after the jump...
1 large whole chicken breast (both sides, that is), bone-in or boneless
Poach the chicken in water, flavored with a splash of fish sauce, some crushed garlic, sliced ginger, and whole star anise. Let cool completely, then shred.
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut in fine slivers
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and cut in fine slivers
1 small hot green chili, sliced crosswise into very thin rounds (seeds and membrane included)
2 medium shallots, peeled and sliced crosswise into very thin rounds
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into very thin matchsticks
1 small red bell pepper, cored and sliced lengthwise into very thin strips
1 small head green cabbage, very finely shredded
1 small bunch cilantro, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts, finely chopped
2 tsp. sugar
1 - 2 tbsp. fish sauce (start with 1 tbsp.; add more to taste)
freshly squeezed juice of 1 whole lime
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix very well with your hands. And then try not to eat it all in one sitting.