This Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing has been popular in my house for summer dinners and lunchtime entertaining. My friends in my cooking club have declared this salad one of the best dishes that I have ever made. If that's not reason enough to jump to the recipe, then...
Here's are the 7 reasons why I love this salad:
This dish provides a fantastic vehicle for my favorite summer fruit, peaches. In the wintertime, papaya is a good alternative.
2. The peanut dressing is amazing.
Think Thai peanut sauce. Yum, right?
3. Easy and Make-Ahead
This dish tosses together quickly if I prep the ingredients ahead and use leftover chicken. I will often make extra grilled chicken earlier in the week in anticipation of making this dish or use store-bought rotisserie chicken. Another great shortcut is to use pre-shredded cabbage in a bag from the supermarket.
4. Doesn't heat up the kitchen
No need to turn on the oven and make the house unbearably hot in the summertime.
5. Both of my kids will eat this.
Well, my little one likes me to leave off the peanut dressing for her portion, and she uses ranch dressing instead, but I think that still counts.
6. Perfect for entertaining
This salad is hearty and can sit out on a buffet for a little while without getting soggy.
7. This recipe is flexible.
I've tried many variations, and they all are delicious. You can thank my friends and their food preferences for being the impetus for the different versions. You might share their food preferences too. For example, Sharon doesn't like cilantro; she just left it off. Kathy is allergic to fish, so I left out the fish sauce. Sometimes I'm afraid my kids will not like the raw green onions; still good without it. One time I forgot the chopped peanuts, and Leslie preferred it that way. Karyn wanted the salad to be vegan, and it was still good without chicken. So, like I said, flexible and still crazy good.
Just imagining this salad is making me crave it. I think I'm going to make it again tomorrow night. Let me know in the comments if you love it as much as I do.
|Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing|| |
- ¼ cup unsweetened natural peanut butter
- Scant ¼ cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from half of a lime)
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or any neutral oil)
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- 10 ounces shredded green cabbage (1 bag of ready-to-use from Trader Joe's) (or 1 small cabbage shredded)
- 2 medium carrots, grated (½ cup)
- 1 large cooked chicken breast, diced (2 cups)
- 2 medium peaches or nectarines, diced (or ½ ripe papaya)
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped (or Thai basil)
- 1 green onion stock, white and light green parts only, sliced thin
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts
- To make the dressing: place peanut butter and warm water in a well-sealed jar and shake vigorously until the peanut butter is incorporated with the water. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and shake until combined. Chill in refrigerator. Can be made a day ahead. Shake again before use.
- To make the dish: Layer all the chopped salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour about ¾ of the dressing over the salad and toss. Add more dressing if desired. Serve immediately.
- Make ahead directions: Most of the ingredients can be prepared the day before and kept in the refrigerator. Make dressing as directed and keep separate. Chop and assemble the salad the day before EXCEPT for the peaches and cilantro. An hour before serving, chop the peaches and cilantro. Just before serving, assemble all the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing.