20 minute Thai Chicken Salad (Larb Gai)

Following the finale of My Kitchen Rules in Australia, my thoughtful boyfriend (knowing of my obsession with Pete Evans) bought me Pete's latest book Cooking with Love. This Larb Gai salad has been adapted from the book.

This salad embodies what I think is a perfect chicken salad with lots of fresh herbs and zingy flavours that dance around on your taste buds.

The recipe is classified as an entree in the book, but you can easily make it a main meal for four with some brown rice, green beans, sliced cucumber and plenty of lettuce leaf cups.

Pete suggests the use of dry cooked rice that is then ground to add a different texture to the salad. I tried out it and it was wonderful, but not necessary if you don't have much time.

What you need to serve four people as a main:

  • 500 grams chicken breast mince (I processed whole free-range breast meat)
  • small handful of basil leaves (Asian basil if you can get it), torn
  • large handful of coriander leaves, torn
  • large handful of mint leaves, torn
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 12 cos or iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 small fresh or dried red chillies, finely chopped (seeds removed optional)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 tbsp lime juice (approximately 1.5 limes)
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil for cooking
  • 2 tbsp uncooked brown rice
Optional ingredients:
  • 1 tsp grated galangal or ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp lime leaves, finely sliced (I used a jar)
  • roasted peanuts, chopped to serve
  • bean sprouts to serve 
  • green beans to serve 
  • shredded carrot to serve

How to make it:

Toast the uncooked rice in a dry non stick pan until brown, shaking the pan regularly. Let the rice cook down and then place in a processor or spice grinder and process until it resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Cook rice according to packet directions.

While the rice is cooking, add oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. Once heated add the chicken and cook, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks. Add the chillies and onion and sauté for one minute. Take the pan off the heat and add the herbs, fish sauce, ginger, lime leaves, lime juice and toasted rice. Stir gently to combine

Serve with lettuce leaves, steamed green beans, bean sprouts, sliced cucumber and cooked brown rice. You also have the option to serve the salad with more vegetables i.e. shredded carrot and some chopped roasted peanuts would be yummy.

Make it Naughty: use chicken thigh fillets instead of chicken breast