Gai Yang with Thai Cucumber and Fennel Salad

Ben O'Donoghue

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 4 coriander roots, washed, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 Asian red eschalots*, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs freshly grated turmeric* or 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbs freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4-1/3 cup (60-80ml) fish sauce (or to taste)
  • 2 1/2 tbs grated palm sugar* (or to taste)
  • 4 chicken thigh cutlets with skin on
  • Steamed jasmine rice, to serve

Cucumber & Fennel Salad

  • 2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4-6 small red or green chillies, chopped
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato, quartered
  • 2 tbs dried shrimp*, soaked in 1/3 cup boiling water for 10 minutes, drained
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice (or to taste)
  • 2 tbs fish sauce (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp tamarind concentrate* (or to taste)
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, cut lengthways into long strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small pineapple, cut into long thin slices
  • 1 cup mint leaves, torn
  • 120g green beans, cut into 2.5cm lengths (about 1 cup chopped beans)
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. For the chicken, using a mortar and pestle or food processor, crush or process coriander root, garlic, eschalot, chilli and turmeric. Add pepper, fish sauce and palm sugar. Crush or process to a coarse paste. Adjust fish sauce and palm sugar to taste.
  2. Place chicken and marinade in a large dish and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight.
  3. Meanwhile, for the salad, pound the garlic, chilli, tomato and soaked shrimp in a mortar with a pestle. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce and tamarind, adjusting them if necessary to get the right balance of sour and salty flavours.
  4. Heat a barbecue or chargrill on medium heat. Cook chicken, turning frequently,
for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, put the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine. Serve the chicken with the salad and steamed rice.

* From Asian food shops. Asian eschalots and fresh turmeric are also from selected greengrocers. Use gloves when handling fresh turmeric to prevent staining.

For chef quality results, we recommend using Anolon cookware!

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