My favorite Thai flavors are lightened up in this chicken and cucumber salad with almond coconut blend almond milk subbing in for full-fat coconut milk.
This post is in partnership with Almond Breeze
When my sister was in high school she spent her season year on a year-long foreign exchange school program with a host family in Thailand. She was just 17. And ready to expand her horizons. That’s only five years from how old Smudge is right now. Looking back I wonder if I could let Smudge go to a foreign land like my mom did with my sister?
My mom made it through that year (barely) and since then we’ve all been back to Thailand with my sister Holly, and thus the whole family has become enamored with Thai food. So this year when my sister and her family came home to spend the holidays with all of us, it was far from shocking that one very important item on the agenda was going out for Thai food.
My mom has a favorite restaurant she frequents for her favorite Thai chicken salad. After “borrowing” just one bite, I was a fan too. And I knew my version of that chicken salad was destined for you here on le bloggity blog.
Coconut milk is a staple of Thai cooking, but with my goals of keeping things a little more healthyish these days, the higher fat and caloric intake that comes along with coconut milk isn’t exactly on my plan. Since the chicken in this salad is cooked in a Thai-flavored coconut sauce that infuses the chicken, I turned to another option that’s closer to my plan.
Enter Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original. It lends the coconut flavor with just 80 calories for this entire dish and only 7 grams of fat, a far cry from what is found in in regular coconut milk, and even the lighter version. Almond Breeze comes in refrigerated containers, but I also store the shelf-stable containers in the pantry for convenience sake. I used the unsweetened Coconutmilk Original for this recipe.
The chicken is sliced thinly then cooked in a blend of almond milk, lemongrass, fish sauce, red chile paste, and coconut palm sugar that’s finished off with lime juice. You can substitute granulated sugar if you like but may need to adjust the amount of sugar so it isn’t too sweet.
The chicken cooks quickly in the flavored sauce and becomes incredibly tender. For the dressing I save some of the sauce and mix it with rice vinegar, or sometimes I’ll use my nuac cham dressing—the same one I use in my grilled shrimp spring rolls—for a more vinegar-ed punch.
Fresh cucumbers, thin slices of red onion, quartered tomatoes and a whole lot of fresh cilantro and mint add a super fresh crunch to the tender chicken slices for an easy, healthier salad that makes a meal no matter what the season.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Thai Chicken and Cucumber Salad
- 2 cups Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original Unsweetened
- 2 stalks lemongrass , cut into 2-inch portions and crushed
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh grated ginger root
- 3 tablespoons high quality fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 pound boneless , skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 1 lime , juiced
- 1-2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 cucumber , halved and then sliced into half moons
- ½ red onion , sliced thinly
- 4 cocktail tomatoes , cut in half and then quartered
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped mint
For the Nuac Cham Dressing
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 3-4 limes , juiced
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 2 tablespoons grated carrot
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- In a medium size skillet, combine the coconut milk with the ginger, lemon grass, fish sauce, coconut palm sugar and chili garlic sauce and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and bring back to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the lime juice then transfer the chicken to a bowl. Save ⅓ cup of the sauce in a small bowl and stir in the rice wine vinegar to taste and set aside.
- Add the sliced cucumber, red onion and tomatoes to the chicken and gently toss with the cilantro and mint. Dress as desired with the reserved sauce with rice wine vinegar dressing, or with the Nuac Cham Dressing. Serve the salad and add more herbs as desired.
This post is part of a partnered series with Blue Diamond Almond Breeze. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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