Since moving out, I don’t eat enough quality Asian food anymore. At home, Mum used to whip up an oriental dish every second day. Asian food is so full of flavour and spice, it’s unfortunate that a lot of the restaurant-bought dishes are incredibly westernised.
Everybody loves Thai food. The curries are spicy and sweet with an upfront flavour that punches you in the face. However, if you’re not up for something as hearty as curry, try my mother’s Thai chicken salad recipe. The salad is fragrant and healthy and combines fresh vegetables with a sweet and salty dressing. Whip it up to serve to your friends, call it by its traditional name; Larb Gai and open your own Thai restaurant you Asian, you!
Thai Chicken Salad
For the salad
1 bunch coriander, washed and torn
1 bunch mint, washed and torn
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
Chilli to taste, minced
1 tomato, deseeded and thinly sliced
500g chicken mince
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cucumber, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 tbsp peanut oil
For the dressing
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1 tbsp castor sugar
2 tsp peanut oil
1-2 tbsp fish sauce (for saltiness, to taste)
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp soy
In a wok (or frypan) saute the 3/4 of the minced garlic in the tablespoon of peanut oil until lightly golden. Add chicken mince and fry till cooked through. During cooking, ensure you break down any large lumps of mince. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
In a jar, combine all dressing ingredients. Secure lid and shake vigorously till sugar dissolves. Refrigerate.
Once mince is cool, add in onion, minced chilli, cucumber, tomato, last 1/4 of raw garlic and the dressing and toss. Finally throw in your mint and coriander, toss again and serve.
You could add about a handful of vietnamese mint to your salad as well (don’t add too much as the flavour is very pungent and may overpower). Serve your salad with steamed rice as a side dish or even on it’s own as a main.