Thai Chicken Salad

Summer.  Perfect for vacations, perfect for hanging out with friends, and perfect for recipes that don’t require much actual cooking.  When it’s 115 degrees outside, running the oven isn’t always that enticing, especially when what’s inside it doesn’t involve chocolate.  

This salad was so quick and simple to assemble; all it takes is some chopping and cooking off the chicken.  If you have a grill, you could grill the chicken, though I think the texture would be better just pan roasted.  The finished product is tasty, colorful, and very healthy.  What more you you ask for in a summer recipe?

Thai Chicken Salad

an “Apple a Day” original

printer-friendly recipe


1 1/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast

2 TBSP chili garlic paste

1/2 c. unseasoned rice vinegar

3 TBSP fish sauce

2 TBSP sesame oil

1 TBSP lime juice

2 tsp. sugar

2 TBSP olive oil or non-stick cooking spray

1/2 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 small head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and shredded

1/2 c. red onion, julienned

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

1/2 c. peanuts, chopped


1.  Place the chicken in a wide shallow dish suitable for marinating.  Coat with chili garlic paste and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours and up to eight hours.

2.  Make the dressing by combining the vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, and sugar in a small jar.  Shake to combine.  This may be done when the chicken is marinated or just before serving.  If done ahead of time, keep in the refrigerator, but remove 30 minutes prior to serving to allow the dressing to come to room temperature.

3.  Heat a pan over medium heat.  Add olive oil or non-stick coking spray.  Cook the chicken until cooked through, but still moist, about five to eight minutes per side, depending on thickness.  When chicken is done, let rest for three minutes, then chop into bite-size pieces.

4.  Meanwhile, combine cabbage, lettuce, carrot, onion, pepper, and cilantro in a large bowl.  Just before serving, toss with desired amount of dressing.  (Unused dressing with keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks.)

5.  To serve, divide salad mixture among four bowls, then top with avocado, chicken, and chopped peanuts.

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  1. Bridget
    July 25, 2010 / 6:10 pm

    Hm, I actually have some shredded chicken in the freezer leftover from a roast chicken. What I want is chicken salad sandwiches, but I'm kinda trying to avoid mayonnaise for a bit. Sigh. This looks like a great compromise of tastes great but is actually healthy.

  2. Sandi
    July 25, 2010 / 6:14 pm

    that looks really good…..I am going to try it the next time I make chicken salad

  3. Alice
    July 26, 2010 / 2:09 pm

    I will try tonight!

  4. "pup"
    July 26, 2010 / 3:46 pm

    I am going grocery shopping today and have to plan my menu for the week, I should add this to the menu!!

  5. Bridget
    August 3, 2010 / 2:55 am

    I loved this! I kind of missed the whole step about marinating the meat, and I didn't have garlic chili paste anyway, so I just coated the chicken in sriracha and then poured a bit of the dressing over it. It ended up tasting really good.

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