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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thai Chicken Noodle Salad with Mango

Lots of flavor!
This is probably my favorite salad.  It has so many great things in it and is a good combination of salty, sweet and acid flavor (like most Thai dishes).  I had something similar with Kat at one of our favorite lunch places and we both loved it.  

You will need:  for 4 people

For the Salad:
  • Mixed chopped lettuce (your choice but it should be nice and crunchy)
  • Cooked chicken breast, sliced 
  • Thin rice noodles that have been soaked in boiling water for about 20 minutes (they should be soft - if they need a little more cooking, just bring the water back to boil for a few minutes and drain)
  • 1 ripe mango cut into large chunks
  • 1 large carrot julienned*
  • 1/2 cucumber julienned* (keep the peel but remove the seeds)
  • 1 red pepper julienned 
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts, washed 
  • Fresh basil
  • Dry roasted peanuts, chopped (or cashews)
  • Thai dressing (see below)
For the dressing:
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp of seasoned rice vinegar (or sushi vinegar)
  • 2 tsp of sugar 
  • 1 garlic clove crushed (you can use the crushed garlic in a jar - this is just easier and you can keep it the fridge for lots of other things - I find its flavor is not as strong as fresh garlic and is good when it is to be eaten raw)
  • 1/2 tsp of grated ginger (this too you can find in a jar - not as good as fresh but good in a pinch)
  • 1 tsp of chinese chili sauce (Sriracha type)
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • Vegetable oil (to taste)
  • Fresh basil leaves, washed and dried


  1. Once your noodles are ready and soft, drain, keep them aside and drizzle with a little sesame oil to keep them from sticking together - season with a little salt;
  2. Prep all the ingredients for the salad and layer on a plate:  lettuce, noodles, cukes, carrots, chicken, mango, bean sprouts and peanuts/cashews. You want to create height on the plate;
  3. Make the dressing by putting all the ingredients (except sesame and vegetable oil) into a blender.  Mix to blend and add the oils slowly through the opening of the blender as it is working (this will emulsify the dressing to make it thicker).  Add about 1/4 cup of oils more or less.  You don't want to dilute too much of the flavor of the other ingredients.  Taste, adjust to your liking and season if necessary.
  4. If your serving a big salad, add the dressing just before serving and toss.   Add fresh basil leaves.
  5. For individual servings, put the dressing on the side for people to pour themselves.
  6. Serve with fresh basil and lime wedges.
Mise en place

*  To make julienning (!?) really easy, use the julienne mandolin shown in the Great Tools to Have post (October 2011).  This will make them the perfect size to eat raw and takes no time.

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