Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yum Gai Thai Salad

Thai Yum Gai Salad With Seitan Recipe

Yum Gai is a classic Thai dish which translates to "salad with chicken". There are countless versions of yum gai and of those I have sampled, I enjoy this one best. It features a colorful, crisp trio of jicama, cucumber and carrots over a bed of greens. But the clincher for me is the dressing - it's a wonderful combination of a nutty sweetness from peanut butter, saltiness from fish sauce and a bit of heat from chili sauce. I've made one substitution from the original recipe: in lieu of chicken, I have used a vegan substitute, seitan {often called the wheat meat}. This is a hearty, satisfying main course salad with a dressing that will likely leave you craving more.

Yum Gai Thai Salad

8 oz. seitan
4 c bite size salad greens
1 c jicama, cut into bite size chunks
1 c cucumber, cut into bite size chunks
1 c sliced baby carrots
1/2 c fresh chopped basil or mint 
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 T olive oil
- and for the dressing
2 small shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c peanut oil
2 T + 1/2 T fresh lime juice
2 T natural peanut butter
2 T fish sauce
1 T honey
1 t Sambal Oelek {Chinese chili sauce}

Saute the seitan in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat until it reaches room temperature or just starts to warm. Set aside.

Over medium heat, saute the shallots and garlic in peanut oil in a small skillet for approximately 1 minute, being careful not to let the garlic brown.  Transfer to a food processor and process along with all of the other dressing ingredients. 

To serve, toss greens and 2 T olive oil in a large bowl.  Divide greens evenly among plates. Top with vegetables, basil or mint and chicken. Drizzle fresh lime juice om top. Serve the dressing on the side in a small bowl.

Serves 2 as an entree and 4 as an appetizer.
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Source:  Adapted from Chopstix.

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