For a change of pace when it comes to salads, here’s one inspired by Southeast Asian cuisine.
It is courtesy of none other than celebrity Vancouver chef David Hawksworth, of Hawksworth The Cookbook.
âIt’s a healthy salad with a lot of texture and flavor,â says Hawksworth. âWhen we put it on the menu at Bel CafÃ©, it was so popular that the cooks couldn’t keep up with the knife work, so they started spiraling carrots and daikon instead. “
Yield: serves 6
Note: Chicken thighs will develop much more flavor if marinated the night before and up to 24 hours before cooking.
30 ml (2 tbsp.) Canola oil
20 g (1 tbsp.) Minced ginger
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1â2 lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced
10 g (2 tsp) palm sugar
70 ml (5 tbsp.) Soy sauce
1/2 cup (125 ml) hoisin
50 ml (3 tbsp.) Sesame oil
30 ml (2 tbsp.) Sriracha-style chili sauce
20 g (1 tbsp) tamarind paste
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
50 g (1â4 cup) palm sugar
2 lime leaves
1â2 fresh jalapeno or Thai red pepper, seeded
15 ml (1 tbsp.) Fish sauce
250 ml (1 cup) lime juice
1 shallot, finely chopped
Spicy papaya salad
200 g (7 oz.) Noodle vermicelli
1 carrot, peeled
1â2 small daikon radish
1â4 green papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into julienne
100 g (1 cup) bean sprouts
1/2 bunch of cilantro, stems removed
75 g (1â2 cup) toasted cashews, crushed
1â2 red jalapeÃ±o, seeded and thinly sliced
Heat the canola oil in a sautÃ© pan over medium heat, then add the ginger, garlic and lemongrass and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the palm sugar and soy sauce and continue cooking until the sugar has dissolved.
Transfer to a blender and add the sesame oil, chili sauce and tamarind paste.
Blend on high power until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl.
Toss the chicken thighs in the marinade then refrigerate overnight (and up to 24 hours).
Preheat the oven to 175 C (350 F).
Remove the chicken from the marinade and scrape off the excess.
Using a grill pan or barbecue over high heat, char the chicken to create grill marks on both sides.
Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 7 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting into 1 centimeter (3â8 inch) strips.
Bring the palm sugar, lime leaves, chili and 60 ml (1â4 cup) of water to a boil to dissolve the sugar.
Transfer to a blender and mix for 1 minute until well blended, then pass through a fine mesh sieve.
Add the fish sauce, lime juice and shallot, and season with salt.
Refrigerate to cool.
Place the noodles in a large heatproof bowl and sprinkle with salt.
Pour boiling water over them to cover them completely and let sit according to package directions, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Drain, rinse with cold water, then drain again. This stops the cooking process and prevents the noodles from sticking together.
Cut the carrot and daikon radish into thin julienne strips or create ribbons using a spiralizer.
Toss with the green papaya, bean sprouts and noodles, and toss gently with a little dressing.
Divide among 6 bowls and top with chicken slices.
Garnish with cilantro, cashews and jalapeÃ±o slices.