I woke up to distant pops and mini-explosions. July 4th has arrived. I’ll call this summer good already. Unlike most early summers in Seattle this one has brought us sunny skies and summer temperatures way before expected. Good weather is never a guarantee until after July 4th and I’ve been here a few summers when we waited way too long. So here’s a cool crunchy salad with my new favorite Asian-inspired dressing.
This is another salad-as-a-meal for me and you can easily add some brown rice noodles to the bottom of the bowl if you do rice, or maybe some other grain-free noodle.
On a side note, my furry boy loves all the vegetable scraps that come from making salads like this one. As a young puppy I taught him to have a soft mouth when taking food from human hands and it has paid off handsomely for him. He gently takes the stubs of cabbage, leftover chunks of carrots, and so on, but his favorite is the cucumber ends and skins. He doesn’t seem to like lettuce or softer cabbage leaves. I think it’s all about the crunch for him. Me too.
I’ve added one of my grilling marinades for Asian-style chicken but really any style or type of chicken will work in this salad. You can easily use leftover shredded roasted chicken or other lightly seasoned chicken because the dressing will take the flavors in another direction. I shred the roasted chicken between my fingers for a great texture. I can see this salad being great with grilled shrimp, blackened salmon, or other source of protein.
This recipe was inspired by the crunchy salad over at Pinch of Yum.
Thai Chicken Salad
Grilled Ginger Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt or 1 tablespoon of gluten-free tamari sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 Thai bird's eye chili or 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (this is optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/4 cup unsalted roasted creamy almond butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 head Nappa or green cabbage shredded (I use a food processor)
- 1 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 cup Thai basil chopped
- 4 large carrots peeled and julienned into thin strips (or use a food processor)
- 2 red bell peppers (or orange or yellow) chopped or sliced into thin strips
- 1 cup green onions chopped (about 4 onions)
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds or peanuts
- Slice the chicken into strips that will fit across your grill. You can also to pan-fry the chicken.
- Add the chicken strips to a bowl, add the remaining ingredients to the chicken and marinate for at least 10 minutes. These can also be left in the refrigerator until you're ready to grill.
- Warm a grill to a medium heat, about 350°F (175°C).
- Place the chicken on the grill and cook on each side for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
- Cool for a few minutes and then dice up for the salad, or store it in the refrigerator for later.
- Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well. You can also blend by hand with a whisk but you'll want to crush the chili separately and then add it to the dressing.
- Store sealed at room temperature for a week
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and blend with a large fork and spoon.
- Serve individual portions and top with Thai dressing (above).
- Store covered in the refrigerator for a few days.