Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thai-Style Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken and Spicy Peanut Dressing

Here are the general guidelines I use to assemble this salad; certainly you can adjust the amounts to your own liking, for both the dressing and the salad components.

I like a medium thick dressing with a good balance of sweet, tangy with a bit of bite from the red pepper.

For about a cup of dressing:

Unseasoned Rice vinegar (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
fresh lime juice (about 2 medium limes)
smooth peanut butter (2 to 3 Tablespoons)
canola oil (I don't use much) 2 to 3 Tablspoons
small amount of toasted sesame oil (a teaspoon or so)
garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (1 to 2 cloves)
finely grated fresh ginger (2 to 3 teaspoons)
sweetener of you choice: light brown sugar, Agave syrup, Splenda, Honey, etc. (about 2 Tablespoons or more to taste)
hot red pepper flakes
salt and ground black pepper (to taste)

Salad Ingredients:

Grilled, roasted or poached ~ Chicken, Prawns, beef or pork as much as you like, sliced (you can also use tofu if you prefer, in lieu of the animal meat.)

cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
carrot, peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
scallions (green onions), white and green parts, sliced thinly on diagonal
As much as you like: baby spinach greens, or young tender lettuce leaves, or sliced/chopped cabbage
minced fresh cilantro leaves


chopped toasted peanuts
Toasted Sesame seeds if desired
Sweet red bell pepper slivers if desired

Mix dressing ingredients together (I use a mini-food processor), taste and adjust seasonings, you may like yours sweeter, or may prefer more peanut butter, etc.

Dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead, kept covered and refrigerated.

Cook the meat of your choice (or use leftover), slice/cut into bite size pieces, set aside.

Prepare remainder of salad ingredients except garnishes and arrange on serving platter or individual plates. Arrange meat or tofu on top, drizzle dressing over, garnish with peanuts and sesame seeds.


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