Rosalba’s Thai Chicken Salad

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Translated Thai chicken salad (for four people).  This recipe is fantastic.  My friend Rosalba is a treasure trove of awesome recipes and makes wonderful food for her friends and for events as well.  She made this salad for a meeting we held recently in Wellington and we all demanded she share the recipe with us, it was just that good.  I made it the other night when friends came around for a meal and they all raved about it.

Rosalba calls this “Translated” as she designed it for her senior girls Book Group about 4 years ago. We were looking at translated novels, and so she translated a recipe (with one of the Thai students) from one of her recipe books.

Salad ingredients

Red cabbage – about 2 cups when finely shredded

2 carrots

1 red pepper

4 spring onions

½ bag of bean  sprouts

½ cup coriander leaves

½ bag crispy noodles

pkt of snow peas – or some green beans

2 chicken breasts  (You could also make it with wood smoked salmon or pork fillet)


3 Tbs sweet chilli sauce

juice 2-3 limes

2 Tbs light soy auce

2Tbs fish sauce

2  Tbs  sesame oil

1 Tbs oyster sauce

2 Tbs Olive oils

2 Tsp brown sugar (or palm sugar)

½ tsp chopped garlic and grated ginger (jarred stuff will do)

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and give a good shake.


Rub the chicken breasts with soy sauce and leave for a couple of hours or overnight.

Slice thinly and stir fry – not too many pieces at once… this takes time.  Drain on paper towel, Set aside

Finely shred red cabbage

Peel carrots, and continue peeling them so you have thin slices. If necessary cut them into thinner strips

Slice pepper in thin strips

Slice Spring onions on the diagonal thinly

Blanch snow peas or beans and then slice thinly

You can pre-prepare all vegetables and the chicken and be pre-prepared, wrap in gladwrap and chill if you want to prepare this in advance of a meal and assemble later.

When you want to serve

Chop the coriander (and mint if you like that addition too)

Put all ingredients in large bowl… using only ½ the crispy noodles and leaving a little coriander for a garnish.

Pour on the dressing and mix gently – yes get your hands in and mix it gently but really well.

Heap on a big plate, and  garnish with the rest of the crispy noodles and coriander.

(You could put the coriander into a separate bowl.  I served this with chopped mint too)

First harvest of the year

Mustard Greens.  Don’t they just look luscious!  This is my first leafy harvest of the season, and looking like they will provide plenty of delicious extra flavour to leafy salads all spring long.  I grew them last year but they went in too late and then bolted at the first hot spell, I think the trick will be to pick and pick and pick them.

I served them with a bunch of other leaves – not from my garden with some feta cheese over the top to accompany a baked potato and a half chicken breast pan fried with seasonings from the mystery collection in the drawer in my kitchen.  Delicious.  And you really can’t go past the “I grew them myself” moment.

Beetroot and Carrot Salad

In the winter I sometimes crave salad, and in the winter that can be a little bit of a problem.  Luckily I have discovered the joy of beetroot and carrot salad.  I recently served it to one of my lovely sisters and she said she hadn’t realised that it was possible to eat beetroot raw.  Well it is!  It is earthy and delicious and a little bit sweet, combined with the carrot it looks lovely and the crunch of the sunflower seeds makes it altogether delicious.

There isn’t a recipe only a suggested method, which you can adjust to fit whatever works for you.  Add a bit of this, a bit of that, mix it up, change it around, you get to decide with this one.

Peel and grate beetroot.  They go a long way, one medium one is probably enough, grate it and put half of the gratings into the bowl.  Peel a couple of carrots and grate.  Put half of this into the bowl.   Add the other half of the beetroot on the top and then the rest of the carrots.  Layering them if you will.  Get two forks and toss them all together.  You now want the juice of two lemons (or one lemon if you want)  or a big slosh of orange juice or some combination of juices, and pour over the top as a dressing.  Sprinkle a great big handful of sunflower seeds over the top and voila you have a great and prettily coloured salad.

In the photo you can see the brown coloured drizzle.  It is a balsamic dressing that I really like and I’ve added a little bit over the top.  I’ve also sometimes added some lemon oil I have which is delicious.  Play it by ear it tastes good whatever you do.  Walnuts are also good.

Pear and Walnut Salad with Toasted Sesame Dressing

I have to put this on here because I am going to lose the little bit of paper it is written on.  It comes from Anne and Roger Wilde’s Real Fresh Food cookbook, but I don’t have that, I got it from the Listener (October 31st 2009).  The best thing about it is the dressing.  I’ve now made it about four times and it is great every time.  Doesn’t matter what you put in the salad but here is what I’ve used the last couple of times.

Pretty sure there is a lettuce in here somewhere

Half a frilly green lettuce or a bag of salad mix if your garden isn’t producing.  A couple of spring onions sliced small, some mint – chopped, half a cup of walnuts – chopped, and 2 – 3 pears, cored and sliced – roast lightly oiled slices of them if you want but the recipe calls for them to be raw, I prefer them roasted, if you roast them let them cool properly before you chuck them in the salad.  Throw all this into a salad bowl.

Mix together (I use a jar with a screw top lid to mix)  1/4 cup olive oil, 2tsp toasted sesame oil, 2 tsp cider vinegar and 1 and a half tbls soy sauce (shoyu) (the good stuff)  toss the salad in this mixture and go to heaven instantly.  It is very good.