Thai chicken and cucumber salad


  • Serves 4 people

  • Salad
  • 3 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced diagonally
  • ½ tsp raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp dried prawns (see note)
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) coriander leaves
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) mint leaves
  • 6 red shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 280 gm (about 2) chicken thigh fillets
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 150 gm (1 cup) arrowroot
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • Thai dressing
  • 50 gm piece palm sugar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
  • Caramelised peanuts
  • 1/3 cup raw peanuts
  • ¼ cup finely grated palm sugar
01   For dressing, place palm sugar and garlic into a mortar and, using a pestle, pound until crushed, add fish sauce and lime juice and stir until combined, then stir through chilli.
02   For caramelised peanuts, combine nuts and palm sugar in a saucepan and stir over low-medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until caramelised. Pour onto a baking paper-lined tray and cool. Coarsely crush to separate nuts.
03   Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 180C. Cut chicken into 5mm pieces, stir in fish sauce, dust in arrowroot and deep-fry for 4-5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper.
04   Place cucumber into a bowl, scatter with sugar, stir and set aside for 10 minutes or until slightly softened. Place prawns into a mortar and, using a pestle, pound until finely ground. Combine prawns with herbs, shallot and cucumber, divide among plates, scatter with chicken and peanuts, drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

NoteDried prawns are available from Asian supermarkets.

Short-order ideas
For a roast beef, potato and horseradish salad, sear a piece of beef fillet in a frying pan until browned all over, then roast at 180C until rare. Season to taste, then rest until required. Boil kipfler potatoes until tender and cool. Finely grate horseradish root, then add to sour cream with finely chopped chives and coarsely chopped potatoes, season to taste and stir to combine. Slice beef thinly, arrange on plates, spoon potato mixture over beef and serve.

For a salami, olive and rocket salad, lay slices of salami over an oven tray and roast until crisp, then combine with marinated green olives, torn mozzarella and baby rocket. Whisk extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a crushed garlic clove and drizzle over salad.







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