I love summer, but I hate cooking in the summer! It’s just too hot to have the oven or stove on for very long, and some days are definitely too hot to eat a hot meal. That’s one of the reasons I love this lighter, fresher, veggie-packed version of the classic Thai dish.
Another nice thing about this recipe is that it can all be prepped ahead of time, which makes it great for taking to a summer picnic or barbecue, or just for those days that you won’t have time to cook for dinner. Just don’t pour on the dressing until you’re ready to eat it, and the salad should stay nice and crisp for up to about 24 hours. You can also marinate the chicken for up to about 24 hours, so you can get it ready when you have time and then just leave it until it’s almost time to eat!
By replacing the noodles with cabbage and carrots, you’re eliminating processed carbs and trading them for fresh vegetables packed with nutrients and vitamins! And cabbage is one of many vegetables that may help with lowering cholesterol and preventing some types of cancer!
For the chicken, put the raw chicken in a gallon-size bag, pour in the soy sauce, squeeze in the lime juice, crush in the garlic, and toss in some salt and pepper. Then just squish everything around for a minute until it seems mixed and the chicken coated, and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook the chicken.
(Mmm… delicious! Is there any way to make raw chicken not look disgusting? If so, I certainly haven’t figured it out. But trust me, once it’s cooked it will taste great!)
Now you just need to chop up the cabbage, peppers, green onions, peanuts, and cilantro, and shred the carrots.
I layered the salad (I thought it looked pretty) but you can just toss it in a bowl if that’s easier. You can chop the veggies while the chicken’s marinating, or wait until it’s cooking.
You can also mix up the salad dressing while you wait for the chicken. Just mix the soy sauce, oil, vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, and cayenne in a bowl. You’ll want to mix it up again (I’ve found forks work best) just before serving – the oil tends to separate.
When you’re ready to cook the chicken, you can either chop it up and cook it in a frying pan on the stove, or grill it and chop it up after it’s cooked. Then add it to the salad, top with the dressing, and enjoy!
Chicken Pad Thai Salad
For the chicken:
1 lb raw chicken
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-2 cloves garlic
pinch salt and pepper
For the salad:
1 head green cabbage
2 green onions
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup bean sprouts (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro
For the dressing:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
pinch cayenne pepper
1. Put all the ingredients for the chicken in a gallon-size plastic bag and seal. Squish it around to make sure the ingredients in the marinade are mixed, and place in the refrigerator for at least half an hour and up to 24 hours.
2. Chop up all the vegetables (I shredded the carrots) for the salad, and layer on a platter or mix in a large salad bowl.
3. Mix all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a small bowl. Be sure to mix again before pouring on the salad, as the oil tends to separate.
4. Cook the chicken either on the stove or on the grill. If on the stove, I recommend chopping it up first. Allow to cool a bit, then add to salad. Pour dressing on top and serve.