This Thai chicken salad is easy to make and pops with flavor. As a bonus, it's low in calories and fat while remaining extremely high in taste. The chicken is marinated in a light peppercorn marinade, then grilled (or oven-broiled) and served over a bed of cool greens together with a tangy Thai dressing. Before Portuguese traders brought the chili pepper to Thailand, the Thai people spiced up their cooking with green and black peppercorns. I find this flavoring especially delicious with chicken, and the fresh mint that's added to this salad makes for a nice contrasting flavor. Hope you enjoy it!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: SERVES 2-3 as a Main Entree
- 2 boneless chicken breasts OR 4-8 skinless chicken thighs, cut into thick strips
- large bowl of salad greens (enough for 2-3 people)
- handful fresh mint (about 8-10 leaves)
- handfuls of fresh coriander/cilantro and basil
- garnish (optional): 1 fresh red chili, sliced
- 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns, coursely ground with pestle & mortar, coffee grinder, or a peppermill that can ground coursely
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice (or substitute lemon juice)
- juice of 1 lime
- 4 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper OR dried crushed chili
- Stir together the marinade and pour over the chicken strips. Toss to coat, then set in the refrigerator to marinate while you prepare the salad fixings and warm up your grill.
- Stir the salad dressing ingredients together in a cup. Taste-test the dressing, looking for a tangy taste that is a balance between sweet and sour, salty and spicy (it should have some kick to it from the cayenne/chili). Add a little more sugar if it's too sour. Set aside.
- Prepare your bowl of salad greens. For the mint, stack the leaves on top of each other, then thinly slice into slivers and toss in with the salad. Also add some fresh basil and coriander if you have it (optional).
- Before grilling, lightly brush grill with a little vegetable oil. Grill your marinated chicken, basting it with the left-over marinate the first time you turn it. For oven-broiling, place chicken strips on a broiler pan (or on a foil-covered cookie sheet, turning up foil at the edges to prevent spilling). Set oven to broil setting and place chicken on one of the upper racks, turning it every 3-5 minutes, or until well done.
- When ready to eat, toss the salad with the dressing and serve the cooked chicken strips overtop. If desired, reserve a little dressing to drizzle over the chicken too. Garnish with a few extra mint leaves and thinly sliced red chili (if you're not afraid of spice). Pair this dish with a cold white wine or lager, and enjoy!