Thai Salad of Coconut Chicken, Lime, Basil, and Glass Noodles

Thai Salad of Coconut Chicken, Lime, Basil, and Glass Noodles

Thai summer salad features coconut chicken, burstingly fresh basil leaves, fiery chiles, and light glass noodles made from mung-bean starch. With each bite, distinct salty, hot, sour, and sweet nuances show themselves.


  • 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bottom 4 inches only, thinly sliced

  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 ½ pounds total)

  • 7 ounces glass (cellophane) noodles

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 5 Thai or regular shallots, thinly sliced

  • 2 fresh Thai chiles, thinly sliced

  • 1 ½ cups packed Thai or regular basil leaves

  • 3 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced


  1. Bring coconut milk, half of the lemongrass, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce almost to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, flipping chicken once, until it is cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes per side. Remove from heat. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and cut crosswise into thin slices. Return chicken to coconut milk mixture; cover, and set aside.

  2. Soak noodles in boiling water according to package instructions, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

  3. Stir together lime zest and juice, sugar, shallots, chiles, basil, and lime leaves in a medium bowl. Add noodles, and toss to combine. Divide noodle mixture among 6 serving bowls. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken, and evenly divide among bowls. Drizzle each bowl with some coconut milk sauce.

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