Eating better food for less and other tales from a no-moneymoon

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thai Chicken Salad

Like all good New Yorkers, Mr. Lemon and I have a stack of beloved take-out menus. Now that we're in full thrifty mode, we don't really order in, but we're still reaching for those take out menus for ideas of what to eat. So, what are we eating?


Sure it doesn't *sound* good, but it is. Larb is one of those Thai restaurant gems that is surprisingly easy to reproduce at home. Really. This one is so easy and yet tastes EXACTLY like the dish from the pros. Plus, it's super healthy, beyond quick, and a great way to combine a little inexpensive protein with a whole lot of veggies.

We'll just call it Thai Chicken Salad.

1 lime
1-2 Tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar

1/2 lb.-1lb. ground chicken or turkey works, too.
1 small onion, half sliced, half diced
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into slices
1 head romaine lettuce, torn
1/2 c. cilantro, minced
1/4 c. mint, cut into strips

Over medium high heat cooking the chicken and half the onion, diced. I usually add a tiny bit of olive oil to the pan to cut down on the meat sticking.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining Thai fish sauce, sugar and the juice of one lime in a large bowl. I try to balance the amount of lime juice to Thai fish sauce, so eyeball it. You can use this dressing separately on a salad with leftover flank steak, too, for another yummy combo.

When the chicken is cooked through, add it to the bowl with the dressing and toss. Let the mixture cool slightly. (If the meat is hot, it will wilt the salad.) On to the salad!

Make a salad with lettuce, onion, red pepper, cilantro and mint and scatter the chicken on top. The dressing on the chicken is salty, flavorful and delicious -- and enough for the whole pile of veggies.

Easy, quick, make ahead=the perfect dish
Salad gets a salty kick from a fishy fridge staple
A delicious way to use up half a package of ground chicken or turkey

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