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.
1 tablespoon fish sauce, divided
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar, divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 1/2 Thai chiles, very thinly sliced
2 cups lightly packed Thai basil leaves
1 English cucumber, halved crosswise and shaved lengthwise (about 2 cups)
1 cup lightly packed sweet basil leaves, large leaves torn in half
1/3 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1/3 cup very thinly sliced shallots
How to Make It
Preheat grill to high heat.
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.
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.
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.
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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Our family loved this! I grow english cukes, thai basil and sweet basil, so we were set there! We did sub in jalapenos, as I don't grow thai chiles. My 12 year old wasn't fond of the all-basil salad, however we adapted his to lettuce salad and that worked. We fought over the leftovers. The chicken went very nicely with the salad. The only thing I'd change is the shape of the cucumbers. I found that strips of cucumber weren't very fork friendly.
The chicken was absolutely delicious with the marinade, but once we put it in the salad we couldn't even taste it over all the basil. I couldn't find Thai basil so I used all sweet basil from the garden, plus a little romaine lettuce as filler because I was nervous about the basil being over-powering - and it was. I cut out the chiles because my husband hates spicy food, but even without it, he took one bite and said "okay, so what's spicy in here?". There was so much bite to the basil, shallots, and cilantro that it came off as spicy/hot to him. He hated it. I didn't HATE it, but I certainly would prefer to make it next time with mixed greens and add in maybe a half-cup of basil, to add the flavor but not overpower the whole thing.
This is a wonderful salad! I was afraid the large amount of basil would overwhelm the dish but the flavors blended beautifully. Plus, I got to use a lot of produce from my garden--onions, cukes, herbs, and chiles. Next time, I might add some julienned apple to give the dish some extra crunch and sweetness.
Delicious dish. Even if Thai basil isn't available (it wasn't for me), this can easily be made with just regular sweet basil. The marinade for the chicken was fantastic and I'd probably let the chicken rest overnight next time so the flavors can infused the meat more. You can read my full review at Taking On Magazines: http://bit.ly/14AftfX
I was pleasantly surprised by how good this was. I was able to find Thai basil, which was a fabulous punch to the salad. I was not however, able to find any Thai chiles, so I used a jalapeno. Great, refreshing summer salad! I will definitely make this salad again.
very good and pretty easy. I had a hard time finding Thai basil so I just used regular basil and some spring mix we had around. We also cut out chiles just because that isn't really our thing, but the overall flavors still came through really well. I'd definitely make it again.
Fabulous blend of flavors.... the cool cucumber blends with the heat of the chiles and the subtle flavors of the oils and soy sauce. We tried the wine pairing and loved it... I think this will be a regular summer meal for us!!!
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