I cooked up this quick salad because my mom had some Thai ingredients in the fridge that she wanted me to use up. Well, I didn't manage to actually finish anything off, but I did make some progress! The chili sauce and fish sauce make for an assertive but slightly sweet dressing - tasted on it's own, I thought it was a little too in-your-face, but after it was tossed with all the other ingredients, it turned out to be perfect! You could really throw in any veggies you have around the house - I used asparagus because there was some from my mom's garden (yum!). Bell peppers or snap peas would also be really tasty.
Although I call for chicken tenders here, you can definitely use chicken breast or even thighs if you prefer dark meat. Chicken seems to be a lot less expensive here in Ohio than it is in California, and so I used the tenders that my mom had on hand! Whatever you use, just brush on the sauce after cooking and cut into bite-sized pieces before tossing with the rest of the salad. Either way, this meal comes together in almost no time at all and is perfectly satisfying on a warm summer night!
Easy Chicken Salad with Sweet Red Chili Sauce
1/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon or lime juice
2 T Thai sweet red chili sauce (such as Thai Garden brand)
1 T fish sauce
2 T canola oil
Canola oil, for pan
1/2 pound chicken tenders
Salt and pepper
6-8 thin stalks asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 small to medium head red-leaf lettuce, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
1. Whisk together the lemon juice, sweet chili garlic sauce, and fish sauce. Add the canola oil and whisk briskly to combine. Taste, and adjust ingredients as needed.
2. Heat canola oil to cover the bottom of a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper, and then carefully place into the pan. Cook until nicely browned on both sides and cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and set aside.
3. Add the asparagus to the pan, adding more oil if needed. Cook until just tender, stirring occasionally.
4. Toss the lettuce with as much dressing as you like (you won't use all of it). Brush additional dressing on the chicken, and then slice into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken and asparagus to the lettuce and toss together, adding more dressing as needed.