A mix of Thai basil and sweet basil makes for a satisfying aromatic salad with no lettuce "filler." Cucumber and shallots offer a bit of crunch. If you can't find Thai basil, use whichever variety you can find. Look for explosively hot Thai chiles at Asian markets, or use serranos.
Cooking Light AUGUST 2013
1. Preheat grill to high heat.
2. Combine 1 teaspoon fish sauce, soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal bag, and shake to coat. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
3. While chicken marinates, mash garlic with flat side of a knife to form a paste; place in a bowl. Add remaining 2 teaspoons fish sauce, remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, lime juice, oil, and chiles to garlic, stirring well; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from bag. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from grill. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut chicken into slices.
5. Place Thai basil leaves, cucumber, sweet basil leaves, cilantro leaves, and shallots in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Divide salad and chicken evenly among 4 plates; drizzle evenly with dressing.
Wine note: German riesling, like the Mosel River Valley's Clean Slate Riesling, 2011 ($10), is a perfect pairing for many Asian dishes, especially spicy ones like Grilled Chicken Thighs with Thai Basil Salad. Its low alcohol and subtle sweetness soothe any heat, while brisk citrus and peach flavors beautifully complement assertive herbs like the basil and cilantro used here. --Jordan Mackay
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