Fresh Thai style noodle salad

Fresh, Thai style salad

This dish is truly delicious. The recipe includes a large portion of raw food and is packed with herbs, so it’s very good for you. It can also easily be converted for a flavour packed vegetarian dish. I cooked it up with a chicken breast marinaded with Thai flavours. You could easily replace the chicken breast with a skewer of prawns in the same marinade or vegetarians could add lovely chilli tofu puffs or an omelette. But the salad is delicious enough to have on its own. It’s packed with flavour, colour and texture so it’s incredibly satisfying. I used macadamia nuts for crunch instead of the traditional Thai use of peanuts. I think it worked a treat, and gave the dish a lovely Australian twist. You could take this a step further and replace the lime with finger limes, but I do love to have a beautiful cheek of lime on my plate, and to squeeze it over my noodles.

Salad

120 grams rice stick noodles
1   carrot
3   spring onions
1 small bunch fresh coriander (reserve the roots)
1 large green chilli
1 small red chilli
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce*
1 whole lime
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
2 tablespoons raw sugar
1 teaspoon macadamia oil

*replace with half the quantity of salt for a vegetarian version

Chicken

    Coriander root (taken from the coriander used in the salad)
1 cm piece Ginger
1 clove Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Lemongrass paste
2   Kaffir lime leaves
2   Chicken breasts with tenderloins
1 tablespoon Macadamia oil

To make the marinade, pound the coriander root, lemongrass, garlic, chilli and kaffir lime leaves in a mortar and pestle to make a course paste. Add the macadamia oil and combine. Scoop out the arinade and lather it all over the chicken. Refrigerate for an hour or more.

To prepare the noodle salad, cook the rice noodles according to packet directions, drain and refresh in cool water. In a small frying pan, heat the macadaia oil and slowly toast the macadmia nuts till they begin to turn golden, then turn of the heat and set the nuts aside to cool. Finely slice the spring onion on the angle all the way up the stalk until the green parts become too ratty. Finely chop the coriander. Slice the chillis on the angle. Peel the carrot. Using the long thin blade on your vegetable grater, slice the carrot into long thin slices, then slice the slices into very thin julienne. The carrot shoudl resemble the shape and size of thin noodles.  

To prepare the garnishes, slice three cheeks fro the lime. Place about a teaspoon of raw sugar into three small serving dishes. Divide the macadia nuts between another three small serving dishes.  

To serve the salad, combine the noodles, herbs, chillis, carrot and half the macadamia nuts in a large bowl. Squeee the juice from the remaining portion of lime over the salad and add the soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar to taste. There should be a balance of sweet, salty and sour. Arrange the salad on your serving plates (twist the tongs a little as you put the noodles down on the plate to give them a pleasant twist on the plate). Garnish each plate with a lime cheek, a dish of nuts and a dish of sugar.

Heat a frying pan over a medium flame. Remove the tenderloins from both chicken breasts. Place the chicken breasts on the hot pan, skin side down. Cook for a few minutes before adding the tenderloins. Cook for a few more minutes, till golden and turn. When the chicken is golden on both sides, and just cooked through, turn the heat off and allow the chicken to rest for a minute or two. Thinly slice the chicken breasts and arrange on two seperate plates. Slice the tenderloins and arrange on another plate (though I used the third serve of this dish as leftovers to take to work for lunch).

Enjoy!

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