It’s June, which means, HELLO! It’s time to go for a swim in this Chopped Thai Chicken Salad.
The flavors in this dreamboat Thai chicken salad are going to rock your face off.
Lime, peanuts, cilantro, carrots, green onions, vinegar, green papaya or mango, soy sauce, chili pepper, garlic, all packed together in a highly textured salad bowl? Oiyyyy! I love it all.
- Chopped cabbage
- Grated carrots
- A bitey green papaya, or green mango, or maybe you can’t find either – not a big deal
- Shredded chicken
- Chopped peanuts
- Lime squeezers
- Cilantro and green onion
- Cute little red serrano peppers
- And the very best peanut dressing your lips have ever touched.
Thai Chicken Salad Meets Green Papaya
I first made this recipe when we were living in the Philippines, so I used a green papaya because I HAD ACCESS TO THESE THINGS. (Green papaya salad is a zippy little number that is a staple of Thai cuisine, and we had lots of similar salads in the Philippines as well.) The semi-spicy, puckery punch is equal parts shocking and mesmerizing.
If you don’t live in the tropics, here’s what I want you to do:
Make a 60-second effort to locate a green papaya or green (under-ripe) mango, which is a great substitution. Peel it and grate it, but don’t taste it yet because it’s so sour and you’re going to be ruffled. Just add it into the salad with all the other parts, and the whole thing will sing.
(If you’re coming up empty-handed, you could go with a ripe mango which will be sweet and delicious, or another crunchy vegetable that you like. Raw cucumber, raw zucchini, bell pepper, or more cabbage or carrots.)
Whichever choose-your-own-adventure path you take, I really don’t think you’re going to be sad about this punchy, crunchy, super-fresh salad.
BRB gotta go take a salad dip.
This simple chopped Thai chicken salad has BIG flavors – peanut, lime, soy, chili, cilantro. Topped with a homemade peanut dressing! Healthy and fresh.
Thai Chicken Salad
- 3–4 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 head of green cabbage (3–4 cups shredded)
- 1–2 large carrots (2 cups grated)
- 1 green papaya or mango (1–2 cups grated) (optional)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
- 3–4 red serrano peppers, sliced
- salt and lime juice to taste
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup sesame oil (toasted or dark)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chili paste (sriracha works, too)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- a small knob of fresh ginger, peeled
- a clove of fresh garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup water to thin to desired consistency
- Chop: Put on some good music, pour a drink, and start choppin’!
- Dressing: Pulse all ingredients in the food processor or blender. Adjust consistency with water.
- Thai Chicken Salad Assembly: Toss the salad ingredients in a big bowl with a drizzle of peanut dressing so everything gets coated. Season with salt and lime juice, and maybe a shot of fish sauce if you’re feeling wild. Serve chilled.
Chicken: Pulled rotisserie chicken works great. You can also cook chicken breasts in the Instant Pot (12 minutes, with about a cup of water, plus salt and pepper) and then shred them.
Cabbage: You want the cabbage to be very thin, like it would be for coleslaw. I did this with a mandoline.
Vegetarian: You can make this with tofu instead of chicken! Just follow one of the methods in this post.
Leftovers / Make Ahead: You can keep this for a few hours once it’s tossed with dressing – like if you make it for lunch, it’ll be pretty okay for dinner. But for best results, keep the leftover salad and dressing separate until ready to serve.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Chop
- Cuisine: Thai-Inspired