|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
How many salads do you know of that speak to all 5 senses at once? Thai salads are meant to do exactly that, and this Thai Mango Chicken Salad is a prime example. It thrills your tastebuds with an exquisite mingling of flavors, it's visually beautiful, the smell of the mango and coconut are heavenly, and you'll hear a pleasant crunch as you indulge in bite after delicious bite. The 'touch' sense is found in the salad's variety of textures: the softness of the mango and chicken coupled with the firmness of the cucumber, red pepper, and sprouts, plus the wispy leafiness of the herbs. And the taste is so good, it'll leave you craving more! At the same time, it's remarkably healthy - there is no oil, so almost 0 fat. Try it and become a salad lover again!
- 1-2 chicken breasts (boneless, or 1-3 cups cooked chicken)
- 1-2 mangoes (ripe, cut into cubes)
- 1 pepper (small red, diced)
- 1/2 to 1 cucumber (medium, diced)
- 2 cups bean sprouts (or pea sprouts)
- 1/4 cup dry shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup peanuts (or cashews)
- 3-4 spring onions (sliced, OR 3 tablespoon finely chopped purple onion)
- 1/4 cup basil (fresh)
- Optional: 1-2 cups cubed watermelon (or star fruit)
- For the Dressing:
- 1/4 cup lime juice (fresh-squeezed)
- 3 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 to 3 tablespoon sugar (brown, to taste)
- 1-2 teaspoon Thai chili sauce
- For the Marinade: (skip for cooked chicken)
- 4 tablespoon Thai oyster sauce (or regular oyster sauce)
- 3-4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 tablespoon sugar (brown)
Preheat your oven to 350 F, or warm up your grill.
Stir together the marinade ingredients and slather over chicken breasts. Set chicken in a baking dish or pan.
Add a little water to the bottom of the pan to keep from drying out.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Alternately, grill chicken over a hot grill, basting with leftover marinade.
When chicken is cool enough, slice into bite-size pieces.
Place coconut in a dry frying pan and stir continuously 2-3 minutes over medium heat, or until it turns light golden brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Set aside.
Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl or cup, stirring to dissolve sugar. This dressing should be a mingling of sweet, sour, spicy and salty, but an emphasis on sweet and spicy (note: it will taste strong now, but will be delicious when combined with the salad). Set aside.
To finish, place all salad ingredients together in a large bowl: mango, red pepper, cucumber, sprouts, onion, basil, and chicken.
Pour over the dressing and toss well. Add the toasted coconut and nuts and toss again.
Do a taste-test. If you prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar. If too salty or sweet, add more lime juice. Add more chili for more spice.
Serve right in the salad bowl or portion out into individual bowls.
Note about the Dressing: This recipe may make more salad dressing than you need, depending on how large your salad is. Also note that it's an oil-free dressing, like most Thai salad dressing, so it will naturally collect at the bottom of your salad bowl. This isn't a problem - just be sure to re-toss before serving if the salad is sitting for any length of time.