Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Thai Basil Cucumber and Snow Pea Salad with Peanut Sauce Satay Chicken

     A Tasty Salad Entrée!
     Today's recipe is not traditional Thai food, but it is interesting none the less.  Sesame Oil is not used in Thai cooking.  Oil of any kind is rarely used to make authentic Thai salads.  Oil is not used for hot food cooking in Thailand either, or so it would seem.  
     Many chefs say that the start of every Thai recipe requires a technique of simmering ingredients in coconut milk.  That is not exactly true.  When oil is needed, coconut milk is cooked till it reduces to coconut oil, then the stir fry or frying technique begins.
     The cuisine of Thailand has many regional styles of cooking.  Stir fry entrées actually are common in northern Issan farm country, where Chinese cooking is an influence.  In modern times, Thai street food chefs have adapted many foreign cooking styles.  Ingredients that are not native to Thailand are becoming more commonplace with street venders too.
     As far as Thai street food is concerned, the old traditional favorites are still number one.  Satay is probably the most popular Thai street food and there is a good reason why.  Satay is tasty beyond belief and it is easy to eat!
     Satay is basically thin pieces of meat, seafood or vegetables that are places on a skewer, then marinated in a sauce and cooked on a griddle or over an open flame.  Street venders simply pull a skewer out of the marinade, cook it quickly and hand the finished Satay to a customer.  Busy street venders even start cooking the Satay before the crowds show up, because the tasty aroma acts as a customer magnet!
     There are several traditional Satay marinade sauces and spice rubs.  In modern times, the list of Satay sauces has gotten even longer.  Creative street venders definitely have an edge over the competition and in places like Bangkok there is plenty of competition!  
     One does not have to walk down a busy city street in Thailand to get Satay.  Many modern noodle house restaurants offer Satay style appetizers too.  Since customers tend to sit down and socialize while dining in a noodle house, just serving some Satay on a stick may not be good enough to get the customer to return for a second visit.  Serving some Satay on a refreshing salad adds a nice touch, which may lead to increased customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.  Customer loyalty is where the money is at!

     Peanut Sauce Satay Chicken Preparation:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Bottled Thai Peanut Sauce is fine for this recipe.  Pre-made Peanut Sauce is a nice convenience and it can be found in most grocery stores.
     Step 1:  Soak 1 long bamboo skewer in water for 10 minutes.
     Cut 2 long chicken breast strips that are about 1/2" wide.  (About 2 ounces apiece.)
     Weave chicken breast strips on the bamboo skewer.
     Step 2:  Place the chicken skewer in a shallow container.
     Lightly season with sea salt and white pepper.
     Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of coconut milk over the chicken.
     Pour 1 tablespoon of Thai Peanut Sauce over the chicken.
     Rub the Peanut Sauce and coconut milk onto the chicken.
     Step 3:  Place the container in a refrigerator.
     Marinate for 30 minutes.

     Thai Basil Cucumber and Snow Pea Salad:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     This is a simple salad that features the flavor of Thai Basil.  Thai Basil tastes fairly mellow and it has a nice aromatic effect.  Thai Basil can be found in Asian food markets.  
     Step 1:  Cut 1/2 of a peeled and seeded cucumber into bite size slices.  (About 1 1/4 cups is plenty.)
     Place the cucumber slices in a mixing bowl.
     Step 2:  Add 8 blanched feather cut snow peas.  (Just cook the snow peas in boiling water for 10 to 20 seconds.)
     Add 5 red bell pepper strips.  (1/4" thick)
     Add 5 yellow bell pepper strips.
     Add about 1/6 cup of julienne sliced onion.
     Add 1 bias sliced green onion.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 8 whole Thai Basil leaves.
     Step 4:  Add 1 teaspoon of blended sesame oil.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of rice vinegar.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of granulated sugar.
     Add sea salt and white pepper to taste.
     Step 5:  Toss the ingredients together.
     Chill the salad for 5 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Stir and toss again before serving.

     Thai Basil Cucumber and Snow Pea Salad with Peanut Sauce Satay Chicken:
     This recipe yields 1 salad entrée.
     The chicken skewer can be broiled or cooked on a griddle.  
     Step 1:  Place the marinated chicken skewer on a roasting pan.
     Place the chicken skewer under a broiler set to a low flame.
     Broil till the chicken is halfway cooked.  (Turn the skewer over occasionally.)
     Step 2:  Brush the chicken with Thai peanut sauce.
     Return the skewer to the broiler.
     Broil the chicken is fully cooked and the peanut sauce is lightly caramelized.  (Turn the skewer, so the chicken cooks evenly.)
     Keep the Satay Chicken Skewer warm on a stove top.
     Step 3:  Mound the Thai Basil Cucumber and Snow Pea Salad on the center of a plate.
     Set the skewer on top of the salad.
     Garnish with a Thai Basil sprig.

     This is a nice looking noodle house style salad!

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