I have many culinary obsessions. If someone says “pasta sauce” within a 500 foot radius of me I will appear instantly at their side, rambling on about garlic and onions and which brand of tomatoes you must buy and how it will change your life. I’m a lot of fun to work with.
I have a guilty pleasure of peanut Thai-ish dressings. I’m pretty sure it is not an authentic Thai flavoring, but a teaspoon of sweet peanut butter mixed with about two tablespoons of soy sauce and a clove of garlic is an amazing dressing over leftover brown rice and basil chicken. (More on this below). If you’re bringing it for lunch, you can even toss in a bit of kale so you can think “I’m so proud of myself for putting Kale in my lunch!” even if you push it out of the way while eating.
When this recipe for a Thai Veggie Salad complete with peanut dressing appeared in my email inbox from Pure Wow, I was ON IT. I bought all the requisite veggies. This led to a moment during checkout where, aghast, I realized the giant red cabbage was $1.59 a pound and I was spending $8 on red cabbage. This was not a pleasant moment. But I did not turn back.
This is a super tasty salad. However, and I’m sorry if this is wrong, I suspect the people doing the write up for this recipe on Pure Wow did not actually make the salad themselves. Because oh my goodness I’m pretty sure I sprained my wrist chopping.
“This is so therapeutic!” I thought as I chopped the bell pepper and scallions. Then I moved onto the peas. Then the carrots. Then the peanuts and cucumber and dried mango and HOW HAVE I BEEN CHOPPING FOR AN HOUR. My wrist was killing me. I took a break to make the dressing. I got my knife stuck in the World’s Largest Eight Dollar Red Cabbage and Christopher had to rescue me. I chopped half the carrots and decided I was done. The radishes went back into the refrigerator, abandoned because I could just not go on.
I served the salad with teriyaki chicken, which I halfheartedly began to chop then just tossed the cutlets on the salad because I was SO over it and it was 8:30 pm and I just wanted to eat my dinner and watch Bob’s Burgers.
It’s a great salad if you can trick someone into chopping everything for you. If you cannot, well, admire the picture and think “Allison, you fool.” Then make some delicious basil lime soy chicken and serve the leftovers with peanut dressing instead. I’ve included all the recipes below.
Chicken with Basil and Lime
Martha Stewart Living – December 2011
- Double this recipe. The leftovers are incredible.
- Serve with brown rice.
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
- 1 tablespoon safflower or peanut oil
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced into rings
- Coarse salt
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 8 ounces each), pounded to an even thickness (about 3/4 inch)
- 1 cup basil leaves
- Stir together 1 tablespoon lime juice, oil, soy sauce, sugar, shallot, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in an 8-inch square baking dish. Add chicken; toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat broiler. Arrange chicken on top of shallot in dish. Broil 8 inches from heat source until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Flip chicken, arranging shallots around sides. Broil until chicken is cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes more. Let stand for 5 minutes. Slice chicken crosswise. Reserve pan juices.
- Transfer chicken and reserved pan juices to a bowl. Toss with basil and remaining tablespoon lime juice.
Soy Peanut Dressing
An Allison Original Recipe
- 1 teaspoon peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 small clove of garlic
- Mix dressing in small bowl. Pour over leftover brown rice and basil lime chicken for a delicious lunch bowl. If you have any cilantro lying around, add it with abandon.
Thai Veggie Salad – Crunchy Salad with Peanut Dressing
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 cups snow peas, thinly sliced
- 3 carrots, thinly sliced or shredded
- 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced or shredded
- ¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
- ½ English cucumber, cut into strips
- 1 cup dried mango, thinly sliced
- ⅔ cup peanuts, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
- ¾ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
- ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- ½ cup seasoned rice-wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup peanut butter
- Make the salad: Toss all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together until the dressing is smooth in texture. (You can also use a mini food processor or an immersion blender to mix the dressing. If so, you don’t have to chop the garlic or ginger.)
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. To serve, pile a helping of salad onto a plate and top generously with more cilantro and peanuts. The salad gets better as it sits and will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.