Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Salad

thai salad 

I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of flowery talk about how good this salad is—there are plenty of people already doing that kind of writing. This delicious and healthy salad keeps in the fridge for about two days tops, but you’ll probably eat it up by then. This recipe makes a bunch—6 big servings, I’d say. Don’t dress the salad until you are about to serve it, as its delicate ingredients will get soggy.

 

Dressing:

  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 3 T fish sauce
  • 6 T lime juice (the juice of 2 limes)
  • 6 T vegetable oil (sub toasted sesame oil if you like)
  • Sriracha to taste

Salad:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 ounces dry, medium-width rice noodles
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 6 full leaves of green cabbage or about 1” sliced thin off of the head
  • one large handful of each — cilantro leaves, mint leaves, and green onions
  • salted peanuts

 

Prepare the dressing by blending the fist five ingredients in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add sriracha to taste. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add the chicken breasts, turn heat to low, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let the chicken cook for 17 minutes – while it’s cooking, you can prep the other ingredients. Remove from water, let cool slightly, and shred by hand.

Soak the rice noodles in a large bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Drop in boiling water and boil for 3-4 minutes, until cooked. You are looking for a tender firmness just like egg pasta. It’s very easy to overcook rice noodles and end up with mush, so keep tasting until they are just right. Cut through the noodles with a kitchen scissors if you want them to be shorter and easier to eat. Drain and rinse, and separate by hand if noodles stick together.

Peel the carrots and shred in a food processor. Shred the cabbage. Mince the cilantro, mint, and green onions.

Toss the chicken, noodles, vegetables, and remaining dressing (to taste) together. Garnish with peanuts. Serve immediately.

 

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