Chantelle Nicholson’s Thai chicken salad recipe is packed with bold flavours. The dressing is beautifully aromatic thanks to lemongrass and ginger, while peanuts and water chestnuts give the salad a wonderful crunch.


  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk
  • black pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless
  • 1 bunch of baby carrots
  • 1 tin of water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 dash soy sauce
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger (2cm), peeled and finely grated
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, grated
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar, grated
  • 100ml rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 heads of baby gem lettuce, leaves separated
  • 50g of cashew nuts, roasted and chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 1/4 bunch of mint, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
  2. Combine the red curry paste, miso, coconut milk and pepper together in a bowl and smother over the chicken breasts. Place on a baking tray and roast for 10–12 minutes until the juices run clear. Remove from the oven and allow to rest.
  3. To make the salad, peel the carrots and cut lengthways into halves or quarters, depending on the size. Dice the water chestnuts and peel the cucumbers to create long strips. Place the strips of cucumber in a bowl, season with a dash of soy sauce and leave to sit for 5 minutes. After this time, rinse and pat dry.
  4. For the dressing, peel the ginger and finely grate with a microplane along with the lemongrass. Add the peanut butter, fish sauce, chilli, palm sugar, rice wine vinegar and lime . Mix until the palm sugar has dissolved.
  5. Arrange the baby gem lettuce leaves on a large platter, or 4 individual plates. Add the carrots, water chestnuts and cucumber.
  6. Carve the chicken, then add the chicken on top of the salad and drizzle liberally with the dressing.
  7. Garnish with the chopped nuts and fresh herbs and serve.

Recipe by Chantelle Nicholson, courtesy of

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