Monday, January 30, 2012

Gluten-free Warm Thai Chicken Salad, Thai Cabbage and Mojito

Warm Thai Chicken Salad

Last night I asked my husband what he wanted me to make for dinner tonight.  Just then, there was a commercial for a fast-food Thai Chicken Salad.  "How about that?  But with warm chicken."  This morning, I visited and typed in Thai Chicken Salad.  First up (highest rated) was this Warm salad.  I love it when it's that easy.

I don't know about you, but when I read a recipe, I can 'taste' what it will taste like.  And this tasted yummy.  I had most items on hand, just needed to buy some limes and cilantro.  I had never cooked cucumber before, and was pleasantly surprised with both the flavor and texture in the finished dish.

One of the reviewers mentioned that she served it with Thai Cabbage, so I jumped over and read that recipe.  That also sounded good, and I had a bag of coleslaw mix in the fridge I needed to use up.  I added fish sauce and chili with garlic paste to my shopping list.

Thai Cabbage

While I was at the market, I also bought some fresh mint to make Mojitos.  They're not Thai, but lime and mint are common in Thai food and I thought it would go well with the spicyness of the cabbage.  Joseph's was out of Fish Sauce, so I bought some Thai Seasoning Sauce. Since the first 2 ingredients are water and anchovies, I figured it would work out.  It did.  A note about fish sauce: it doesn't taste fishy when you cook with it.  It tastes nutty and salty. It's one of those ingredients that adds Umami - a Japanese word that means deliciousness. So don't let it scare you.


Wow! that Thai Cabbage was spicier than I anticipated!  When I make it next time, I'll reduce the Chili with Garlic Paste by half.  The Mojito helped cool everything down.

Here are links to the recipes at
Warm Thai Chicken Salad
Thai Cabbage
Of course, I made some changes to them, here are my versions:

Warm Thai Chicken Salad
2 garlic cloves, microplaned
1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (12  - 16 ounces)
1 red bell pepper, 1/2" cubes
1 cucumber, peeled, sliced lengthwise and then into 1/4" half-moons
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 tablespoons Thai Seasoning Sauce OR soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
chopped lettuce
chopped fresh cilantro

Chop and measure all food and have ready to add to skillet.
Heat a large skillet until hot.  Spray with oil. Add garlic and pepper flakes.  Stir to coat with oil. 
Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides.
Add red pepper, cucumber and onions.  Stir to combine.
Add juice, sauce and sugar; bring to a boil.  Cook 30 seconds.
Place lettuce on plates; divide chicken mixture among plates.
Drizzle with pan juices.
Sprinkle with cilantro.

Thai Cabbage
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Thai Seasoning Sauce OR fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon Thai Chili with Garlic Paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, microplaned
1 clove garlic, microplaned
1 16 oz. bag coleslaw mix (without dressing), shredded style
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
2/3 cup shredded carrot (about 1 carrot)
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.
Chop and measure all ingredients.
Heat a Dutch oven (or wok or very large skillet).  When hot, spray with oil.
Add garlic and ginger.  Stir to coat with oil.
Add all vegetables.  Stir and cook over high heat 2-4 minutes.
Add sauce mixture, stir and cook 2-3 minutes longer, until cabbage is tender.
Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Mojitos are not Thai, but they are citrusy and cooling, perfect alongside Thai foods.
This Mojito is my own take on your average mojito.
Fresh Mint leaves - 1 sprig (about 6 leaves) per glass
Fresh limes - 3 wedges (half a lime) per glass
rum (I prefer a golden rum, but whatever you have on hand) - 1 shot per glass
simple syrup* - 1 shot per glass
crushed ice
Seltzer water

Use tall wide glasses. Place the lime and mint in the glasses.  Muddle it (pound them mercilessly with the end of a wooden spoon).
Add rum and simple syrup.  Muddle it a bit longer.
Fill glass with crushed ice.
Top with selzer water.  Stir.

*Simple Syrup
1 part sugar
1 part water
Bring to a boil.  Boil 3 minutes.  Cool.  Cover and refrigerate leftovers.