I’ve got a co-worker who’s a fellow Asian Foodie (she’s Thai). This past week she’s brought homemade Filipino rice porridge (the BEST kind of rice porridge) and given me an AWESOME marinade recipe for chicken. This makes the chicken taste SO aromatic with the flavor of the coconut milk coming through. I steeped a whole mess o’chicken breasts in the marinade and made a Vietnamese inspired slaw as a side dish for a relaxing al fresco dinner in our backyard.
Thai marinade (I made a few changes based on what was in my fridge)
2 large stalk of lemongrass (cut the leaves off and leave the bulb)
2 tablespoons of cilantro root/stems coarsely chopped
10 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of pepper (the recipe calls for white pepper)
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup Thai thin soy sauce (or regular soy that’s been thinned with a teaspoon of water)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon honey (I used sweet Thai chili sauce)
1 tablespoon melted butter (I used sesame oil)
1 teaspoon coconut milk (I upped it to 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup cooking oil (I cut it down to two tablespoons)
Good for 1 small broiler chicken (2-3 pounds) butterflied or 6 chicken breasts. Put the first six ingredients in a food processor or blender until it comes together in a paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until blended. In a large baking dish lay out of the chicken and pour the marinade on it. Let sit for at least 24 hours and up to 2 days. I used chicken breast so grill the chicken breasts for 8 minutes a side. If you are doing inside, sear both sides for 3 minutes a side until the outside is seared. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Nuoc Cham dressing for Asian slaw
Ok this is really a set of ratios because it depends on how much salad you want to make. If you want to make about four cups of salad then use about 1/2 a cup of dressing.
2 part lime juice
4 parts nuoc mam
1 part sugar
1 part chopped garlic
1 part sambal olek
2 parts water
1 part oil
1 part thinly sliced onion
The base is Napa cabbage. If you were going to be REALLY authentic, you could use green papaya or lotus root but Napa cabbage is easier to find. So for four cups of sliced napa cabbage, add anything you want that sounds good (I’ve even seen apples in this). You can add julienned carrot, red bell pepper, bean sprouts, cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sliced mango, sliced cucumber. In a pinch, I’ve even used won ton skins I brushed with oil and baked at 400 degrees until they are a golden brown.