It’s like a mini Thai vacation – ok, maybe not, but it’s good

My hubby and I really enjoy Thai food, actually most any kind of Asian food, but Thai is most often the top of the list just behind good sushi. My favorite thing about Thai is how fragrant and tangy the food is with a mix of fresh herbs and flavorings to elevate even the most boring ingredient – poached chicken – to another level of tasty. The following is a recipe for Thai chicken salad that can be made minus the chicken so it is an easy vegetarian meal as well. This one is excellent for summer or now, when we are wishing it was summer, and it requires next to no cooking, so no excuses for the cooking impaired ! Like many things I make, the measurements are sort of guestimated since I kind of improvised pieces from several recipes, so all things can be adjusted to make them more spicy, tangy, salty, all of the above. All of these ingredients were picked up at the local grocery store, so no need for a special field trip for this one. For the salad – makes 2 dinner sized portions:

2/3 package of bean thread noodles, prepared according to package

1 large handful of pea shoots (you can use spinach or any other salad green or sprout)

3 slices of red onion

handful of kumquats sliced – any citrus will do – orange, tangerine, etc

1/2 cup mint leaves

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

1/2 English seedless cucumber, sliced

poached chicken breast (optional) – Shrimp or steak or any other protein would be good here

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Assemble all of the above ingredients in a bowl and set aside. The following is the dressing:

juice of 1.5-2 limes

2 tablespoons soy sauce (I use low sodium Tamari)

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce

1 pinch of sugar

1 small drop of sesame oil (make it small, otherwise it overpowers everything else)

1 tablespoon grated ginger (I freeze the ginger and use a micro-plane to shave it whenever I need it)

Chili pepper to taste (I use a small drop of Chinese garlic chilies from a jar)

1 smashed clove of garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over salad when you are ready to serve. 

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I served the salad with the fresh poached chicken, so it was warm, and the noodles were also relatively warm still from sitting in hot water to soften. The leftovers held up well though, despite the lime juice, and I had them for lunch today which was a huge upgrade from the options I usually have for lunch. Aside from all the chopping, this is one of the easiest things you can make. I try to keep bean thread noodles and/or rice stick noodles in the house because they cook so quickly and are great for things like this or to use in chicken or other soups instead of regular noodles.

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