This Authentic Thai Lemongrass Chicken Salad is healthy, filling, and bursting with flavors! Think delicious, then spice it up a notch!
One of my “go-to” foods, especially for delivery is Thai food! Thai food has so many intricate flavors ranging from an array of herbs, curries, spices, aromatics, and heat! Realistically, there is nearly something for everyone to enjoy! One of my MANY favorite dishes, is Chicken Larb. If you don’t know what chicken larb is, it’s essentially a ground chicken salad with ginger, lemongrass, red onion, Thai peppers, and peanuts served with fresh cabbage. And with “larb” being Thai for “finely chopped”, it’s almost self-explanatory. If you’re curious, Woks of Life has a more in depth explanation of it. This Authentic Thai Lemongrass Chicken Salad gains its inspiration from the wonderful Thai Chicken Larb.
The “Delecta-Bowl” Thai Salad
I served this Authentic Thai Lemongrass Chicken Salad last night to my wife with rave reviews. As said in my teaser, “its healthy, filling, and bursting with flavors.” It truly is all the above, it’s one of those salads where you walk away totally satisfied and full! Let’s discuss why:
Grilled Lemongrass Chicken
This wonderful protein is realistically a standalone recipe. This chicken can be served with rice, in a salad (obviously), or as a fantastic bahn mi sandwich! As with all proteins, this chicken will keep you filled and satisfied. Generally, chicken thighs are my personal preference. Thighs are a bit fattier, so they’re more flavorful and tender. Again, it’s a preference, feel free to use chicken breasts if you’re looking for something leaner.
One would rarely thinks of fresh veggies as “hearty,” but this salad mixture is. It’s loaded with celery, carrots, cabbage, radicchio, and cucumbers. The sprinkling of basil, mint, cilantro, lime, peanuts, jalapeno, and ginger additionally bring out all the refreshing brightness one could possibly muster!
The rice noodles in this Thai Grilled Lemongrass Chicken Salad bring in a solid foundation to build a salad bowl. While all the pops of flavor are ridiculously tasty, the noodles bring in a nice neutrality to help absorb the dressing and break up the flavors. Acting as the carbohydrates, these simple rice noodles are a naturally easy addition. Readily available at pretty much any major grocery store chain, including Walmart, I used Dynasty Maifun Rice Sticks. I know you’ve seen them! Soak them in hot water for 10 minutes (with a little salt) and you’re set! Out of noodles? Try the cabbage-chicken mix over rice, topped with the dressing.
The Thai Lemongrass Dressing of this Authentic Thai Lemongrass Chicken Salad
This is Thai Lemongrass Dressing is one of my favorite dressings. I know I keep using the word bright, but that’s what it is. It’s a lively, flavorful dressing that can also be used as a marinade! The base flavors are sweet, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, chili paste, rice wine vinegar, lime, and fish sauce. A little brininess helps “Thai” all the flavors together!
Cut and Paste
What I like about this salad is the cohesion of flavors. Each bite is a little different, but they all meld so perfectly with the abundance of freshness. While I think this salad is darn near perfect, I know some fellow eaters are spice averse, while others avoid cilantro, etc… I know I’m personally not very found of fish sauce – Anything too fishy and I run for the hills! In that, removing a flavor or adding more of an ingredient vs another will not throw off the overall balance of this wonderful dish! Though, I still recommend the original recipe!
In Conclusion of this Authentic Thai Lemongrass Chicken Salad
We’ve learned that “larb” means chopped in Thai. Additionally, gai means chicken. The confusing bit is that “moo” means pork, while “neua” is beef. And further still, Nom Sod is a ground pork salad, which is similar but different… Don’t quote me on this, but Larb is Northern Thai/Laotian while Nom Sod is Southern Thai. Either way, the next time you’re at your favorite Thai restaurant, you can navigate that menu like a pro!
Keeping this post short and sweet, feel free to mix and match your ingredients, have fun and ENJOY!
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Tips and Tricks for this Authentic Thai Lemongrass Chicken Salad
- One of my favorite tools in the kitchen is my cheap ginger grater. When looking for a ginger grater, the most effective ones have a metal grater. I’ve tried the ceramic and plastic ones, but they don’t grate as easily. Here’s the one that I like: Stainless Steel Ginger Grater. The easiest way to clean it is with a toothbrush or vegetable brush, otherwise fibers get caught in the teeth.
- If you don’t have fresh lemongrass or ginger readily available, you should be able to find at your local grocer Gourmet Garden Ginger and Lemongrass Stir-In Paste. They’re usually in the refrigerated produce section next to prepackaged herbs.
- You can make every component of this salad in advance. It should remain fresh for about three days. Keep everything separated and refrigerated in airtight containers. Combine the salad, noodles, dressing, and chicken just before serving.
- The easiest way to mince your fresh lemongrass is with a handheld immersion blender. Cut the lemongrass into half inch pieces after removing the exterior tough lemongrass blades. Place the lemongrass in a small bowl and blend with your other liquid ingredients, in this case use the oil, rice wine vinegar, and mirin – It’ll also help infuse the flavor in the oil. If you don’t own an immersion blender yet, I use this Cuisinart Corded Hand Blender. I find cords are easier than the cordless, which would be perpetually low on battery.
- If you don’t have a grill, airfry or bake your chicken on a parchment lined baking sheet at 425°F for 12-15 minute per side. The internal temperature should be 165°F or at least 145°F for 9 minutes according to Epicurious and the CDC. Either way will kill any potentially harmful bacteria. Once done, let the chicken cool and setup for minimally 10 minutes, preferably 15 to 20 minutes to retain maximum moisture.
- No time for making the chicken? Sub it for frozen, store bought, pre-grilled chicken tenders or sliced rotisserie chicken. The delicious lemongrass dressing will be so delicious that nobody will question whether you made the chicken yourself!
- If you want your carrots to be sweeter soak them in sugar water after slicing for 20 minutes (usually use 3 Tbsp/1 Cup water).