Recipe: Coconut-poached chicken noodle salad

This recipe is an absolute cracker. I made it once and then twice and then just like that, I’d made it multiple times in just a few short weeks. It’s healthy, delicious and very easy to put together. The recipe serves about 5 -6 people, depending on how many have seconds. Not only does it make for a great dinner which you can prepare in advance, the leftovers make a perfect lunch as it is nice and light. I would recommend doing the chicken two nights in advance, that way the coconut flavours really have time to infuse throughout the chicken.

Collect for the chicken

  • 500 g chicken thigh, skinless and boneless (don’t cut into small pieces)
  • ½ onion
  • 1 T peanut oil
  • 2 T roughly chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 T lemongrass
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 400 ml coconut milk

Collect for the salad

  • ¾ c shredded coconut
  • ¾ c roasted peanuts, chopped or whole
  • 100 g vermicelli noodles
  • 2 c chopped bok choy or spinach
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 – 3 sticks celery/cucumber, finely chopped
  • ¾ c fresh coriander
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped

Collect for the dressing

  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 5 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ t sesame oil
  • Big pinch chili flakes


  1. Add the oil to a medium saucepan and place over a medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, lemongrass and cumin and cook, stirring for a few minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add the coconut milk and the chicken and increase the heat to high and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer gently for 6-8 minutes, turning the chicken over once, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool before shredding.
  3. Transfer the chicken and the sauce into a bowl or container and refrigerate until needed – the longer the better for infusing flavor into the chicken (up to 2 days).
  4. When ready to serve, discard the liquid and put the rest of the chicken into a large bowl.
  5. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and set aside to.
  6. Dry roast the coconut, keeping a close eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. Toast until golden.
  7. Add the noodles to a large bowl with the chopped Asian greens. Pour over boiling water to cover and leave for a few minutes until soft. Drain and leave in the colander to cool for 10 minutes.
  8. Add to the chicken with the carrot, celery, coriander, chili, coconut and peanuts. Toss through the dressing and serve.

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