Thai Chicken Chopped Salad is exploding with the contrasting flavors and textures of crunchy cabbage, juicy chicken, colorful peppers, sweet carrots, peanuts, and cilantro, all finished off with an amazing Peanut Dressing.
2tablespoonssunflower oil (OR another light vegetable oil)
1teaspoonsesame oilregular or toasted
Warm water1 teaspoon at a time, to thin dressing to desired consistency (only if needed)
FOR THE SALAD:
16ounceschopped Napa cabbage (OR hearts of romaine, OR a combo of the two)
3 to 4cupschopped or shredded cooked chicken
1 1/2cupsthinly sliced red bell peppers (OR multi-colored mini sweet peppers)
1 1/2cupsjulienned or shredded carrots
FOR SERVING: cilantro leaves (chopped or torn), chopped salted peanuts, sesame seeds, and lime wedges
To prepare the dressing, place the clove of garlic in a small food processor or blender. Pulse until garlic is finely minced. Add the peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, and sriracha. Process or blend until completely smooth and combined. If dressing is too thick, add 1 teaspoon warm water and blend again. Repeat until desired consistency is reached. Taste the dressing and adjust to taste by adding a bit more soy sauce (for saltier), honey (for sweeter), or sriracha (for hotter). (Alternatively, finely mince the garlic by hand, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and briskly whisk until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.)
To prepare the salad, place the chopped Napa cabbage in a large bowl. Arrange the chicken, peppers, and carrots on top. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing, toss to combine, and garnish with cilantro leaves, peanuts, sesame seeds, and freshly-squeezed lime juice. Serve immediately.
Heads of Napa cabbage can vary in size, so I recommend weighing it when you buy it to determine if it's around 1 pound or if it's much heavier, in which case you may not want to use the whole thing. When I made this salad, I needed to use up a 7-ounce tub of hearts of romaine that was nearing its expiration date in my fridge. To that I added 1/2 of a Napa cabbage -- chopped -- which brought the total amount of my salad greens to about 16 ounces.
I used a small rotisserie chicken. Once chopped, it measured 3 1/2 cups. Alternatively, you may bake or grill 3 large (or 4 medium-sized) chicken breasts to use in this recipe.