Monday, June 10, 2013
Thai Chicken and Waterchestnut Salad. Attempt No. 1
I am obsessed with the Thai Chicken Salad at Mamagoto. I drag everyone I know there. And even when no one wants to come with me, I am happy to order meself this salad and sit quietly on the side and enjoy the flavours.
The flavours. Oh the flavours. Lovely mint, some basil, sweet waterchestnut, some heat from red chillies, the pungency of thinly sliced onions, undertones of coconut and lemon grass and a hint of tartness. Oh and the most moist and succulent chicken. What's not to like!
I've been wanting to replicate this salad forever. But since I missed the barage of waterchestnuts last season, I was in a quandary. But that was until I found a can of waterchestnuts in a Le Marche in Gurgaon. And ever since then the wheels of recreating have been in motion.
This first attempt wasn't successful in recreating the recipe. But it turned out to be a gorgeous salad that just aged beautifully in the refrigerator. Between the poaching and the dressing, the chicken took on a very delicate flavour which took me quite by surprise.
Please don't go by the ugliness of this salad. It truly doesn't taste that way. It's an incredibly moist and tender cold salad with beautiful flavours of basil coming through. And yes it seems long, but really it isn't. And as far as the Mamagoto Salad goes, you'll just have to wait for attempt number two.
Oh and don't miss my training chopsticks. This one here looks like it's in a bathtub. I love these and have been eating from it since I've got them a couple of weeks ago.
Thai Chicken and Waterchestnut Salad
For the poaching liquid
200 ml coconut milk
100 ml low fat cream
100 ml water
3 tblsp jaggery
1 tsp salt
1 lemon grass stalk
2 lemon leaves
1 dry red chilli
For the salad
2 chicken breasts
Handful of mint
Handful of basil
1 can water chestnuts
2 red chillies
1/4 cup chopped cashews
For the dressing
2 tbslp fish sauce
3 tbslp jaggery
2 tblsp soya
4 tbslp mirin
8 tbslp water
8 tblsp poaching liquid
salt as per taste
1. First, wash and clean the chicken. Set it aside to dry.
2. In a large pan at all the ingredients for poaching together and bring to a gentle simmer. Lower the chicken into the liquid and let it simmer in a covered pan for about 15 minutes.
3. Once the chicken is done, use a sieve to remove it from the liquid. Set it aside
4. Slice the onions finely and snip in the red chillies. Tear the mint and basil leaves into one bowl. Add the water chestnuts.
5. Slice the chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the rest of the salad
6. Make the dressing with all the above mentioned ingredients. Add to the salad. Adjust for sweetness and tartness as per your taste.
7. Chill the salad for at least two hours before serving. Top with remaining basil and mint and the cashews