This Shredded Chicken and Shaved Coconut salad recipe is perfect for your January good intentions. Fresh kaffir lime leaves are an essential element of this zingy Sri Lankan salad. They impart a haunting, lemon flavour.
For the salad
– 6 shallots, peeled, plus 3 shallots, finely sliced
– extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil
– 4 chicken thighs or breasts
– 425–600ml homemade chicken stock
– 6 spring onions, finely sliced
– 2 red chillies, thinly sliced
– 1 cucumber, peeled and julienned
– 3 tbsp mint leaves, shredded
– 5 kaffir lime leaves, spines removed and leaves very finely shredded
– 3 tbsp finely shaved coconut and 2 tablespoons coriander leaves, to serve
– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing
– 100ml coconut cream
– approx. 2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
– 2 tbsp palm sugar, or to taste
– 3 tbsp lime juice, or to taste
– 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
– 2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly shredded
1. Halve the 6 peeled shallots and slice thinly across the root. Spread out on kitchen paper to dry.
2. Heat 2.5cm oil in a frying pan. Cook the shallots in batches for 4–5 minutes until crisp and golden, turning regularly. Spread on kitchen paper to crisp.
3. Season the chicken well. Fit into a small saucepan and cover with the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20–30 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and almost falling off the bones. Lift out and leave to cool. Save the flavourful stock for use in another recipe.
4. Next, make the dressing. Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste with more fish sauce, lime juice or palm sugar, as needed.
5. Just before serving, make the salad. Shred the chicken, and mix with the remaining ingredients and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the ingredients.
6. Arrange a little pyramid of the salad on each plate, then sprinkle the fried shallots and some coconut shavings over each one. Finish with a drizzle of the dressing and serve immediately with the coriander leaves and scattered over the top.
Growing your own food is exciting but, when it comes to knowing how to make the most of your produce, it can be daunting.
In Grow, Cook, Nourish, bestselling author Darina Allen draws on more than 30 years of experience gardening at Ballymaloe to take you through an extensive list of vegetables, herbs and fruits with each entry including explanations of different varieties, practical information on cultivation, growing and maintenance, plus instructions for the best ways to cook produce as well as preserve and utilise a glut.
Taken from Grow Cook Nourish by Darina Allen, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Clare Winfield.