Mix Thai and sweet basil to create a satisfying aromatic salad with no lettuce “fillers.” Cucumber and shallots offer a bit of crunch. If you can’t find Thai basil, use any variety you can find. Seek out explosively hot Thai chilies at Asian markets, or use serranos. This is one dish that is worthy of a special occassion.
So how simple is this recipe?
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 1 1/2 Thai chiles, very thinly sliced
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups lightly packed Thai basil leaves
- 1 English cucumber, halved crosswise and shaved lengthwise (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup lightly packed sweet basil leaves, large leaves torn in half
- 1/3 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
- 1/3 cup very thinly sliced shallots
- Preheat grill to high heat.
- Combine 1 teaspoon fish sauce, soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal bag, and shake to coat. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
- While chicken marinates, mash garlic with flat side of a knife to form a paste; place in a bowl. Add remaining 2 teaspoons fish sauce, remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, lime juice, oil, and chiles to garlic, stirring well; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken from bag. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from grill. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut chicken into slices
- Place Thai basil leaves, cucumber, sweet basil leaves, cilantro leaves, and shallots in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Divide salad and chicken evenly among 4 plates; drizzle evenly with dressing
Wine note: German Riesling, like the Mosel River Valley’s Clean Slate Riesling, 2011 ($10), is a perfect pairing for many Asian dishes, especially spicy ones like Grilled Chicken Thighs with Thai Basil Salad. Its low alcohol and subtle sweetness soothe any heat, while brisk citrus and peach flavors beautifully complement assertive herbs like the basil and cilantro used here. –Jordan Mackay
Courtesy of Ann Taylor Pittman, Cooking Light