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.
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. 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.
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.
Thai Chicken and Cucumber Salad
This simple salad is a favorite all year long with tender chicken cooked in a lighter Thai flavored sauce to make a crunchy salad that makes a meal.
2 cups Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original Unsweetened
2 stalks lemongrass , cut into 2-inch portions and crushed
1 1/2 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
2 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
1/2 red onion , sliced thinly
4 cocktail tomatoes , cut in half and then quartered
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint
For the Nuac Cham Dressing
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 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 1/3 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.