Adding shrimp to this Thai salad, traditionally made with chicken, gives it extra oomph. Serve the salad with an array of lettuce leaves and roll up spoonfuls of it with fresh basil and/or mint, or make extra dressing and assemble composed salad plates for an appetizer or entree.
If you prefer, use all chicken or all shrimp instead of a mixture.
Make Ahead: The salad can be prepared and refrigerated a day in advance. It can be served chilled, but it is best when served slightly warm.
- 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste, such as Thai Kitchen brand
- 1 teaspoon Thai green curry paste, such as Thai Kitchen brand
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, such as Tiparos brand
- 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of visible fat, then cut into 1-inch cubes
- 8 ounces medium peeled and deveined (raw) shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 medium red onion, cut into very thin strips (juilienne; 1/2 cup)
- 1 bunch scallions, white and light-green parts, chopped (1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems
- 1 tablespoon toasted rice powder (see NOTE)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
- Large lettuce leaves, such as butterhead, red oak or baby romaine, for serving
- Large basil leaves, mint leaves or both, for serving (may substitute Thai basil)
Whisk together the curry pastes, lime juice and fish sauce in a small bowl.
Combine the chicken and shrimp in the bowl of a food processor; pulse 10 to 12 times to coarsely chop into small pieces, being careful not to turn the mixture into a paste.
Heat a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Once it is quite hot, add the chopped chicken-shrimp mixture and the water, stirring to incorporate the liquid. Use a flat-edged wooden spatula to break up the meat into small bits as the mixture cooks for about 3 minutes or until the chicken loses its raw look (no trace of pink remains) and the shrimp turns opaque.
Transfer to a serving bowl; add the curry-paste lime juice mixture, the red onion, scallions, cilantro stems, the toasted rice powder and the crushed red pepper flakes, if desired, stirring to incorporate.
Serve the salad at the table, with lettuce and herb leaves on the side. To eat, place a spoonful of salad and some herbs on a lettuce leaf, then roll it up.
NOTE: To make toasted rice powder, toast 1/4 cup of raw long-grain rice in a dry nonstick saute pan over medium heat, shaking the pan often, until the grains become a deep golden brown (about 5 minutes). Let the rice cool completely, then grind it to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks.
From Sourced columnist David Hagedorn.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
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