Easy spicy Thai chicken salad

ThaiSalad3(1)Click on top title to open and scroll  Many people who love Thai food hesitate to prepare it at home. We have many simple-to-make Thai recipes in our archives; this is one of the easiest and most popular. After you stock up on a few Thai pantry basics – such as fish sauce, tamarind sauce, and dried shrimp -Thai cooking is easy and fun.

This salad, also called Som Tom or Som Tum, is a Thai classic and perfect this fall when green beans are plentiful.  If you cannot easily find a green papaya or do not like it, double the green beans – it will taste fine.

If you add a half-cup of cooked chicken (I use a barbecued chicken from the store) or grilled shrimp or scallops to this salad, it will serve two or even three people as a tasty warm-weather meal.

Top and tail 1 cup of green beans, and steam them until they are cooked but still crispy (about three minutes). Then rinse them in cold water to keep the green colour. You can also microwave for three minutes, covered with a damp paper towel.

½ cup of grape tomatoes washed and halved

½ cup thinly sliced sweet onion or green onion

1 thinly sliced carrot, peeled

1 handful of Thai or regular basil

1 handful of peanuts to top the salad

½ cup dried shrimp (soak in water)

For a lunch or dinner salad, add ½ cup of cooked shredded chicken or ½ cup grilled shrimp or scallops per person.

1 green papaya, julienned on a mandolin, or buy it already julienned or cut into long thin strips with a sharp knife. There is a big stone in the middle of a papaya. And the fruit’s tough peel is hard to remove, so use a peeler. (Do not buy the fruit overripe or you will have trouble slicing it and it will be mushy. Mango works in this salad also.)

Dressing:

Make this at least one hour in advance to blend the flavours:

2 tsp. fish sauce (I like 3 Crab brand)

Juice from 2 to 3 limes – it depends on how juicy they are.

1 tbsp. Stevia in the Raw (this brand is not bitter) or 1 tbsp. white, brown, or palm sugar (palm is Thai)

1-2 thinly sliced bird chilies, no seeds

1 tsp. spicy or regular sesame oil

To serve, mix all the vegetables together with the dried shrimp, chicken, or seafood, and toss with the dressing. Garnish with peanuts.

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