The recipe was inspired by the very popular Houstons (now Hillstones) on 2nd Street in Santa Monica that has a delicious Thai Noodle Salad. They used two different dressings which seemed like a lot of extra work so I designed one using all the flavors. They offered a choice of steak or roasted chicken which I changed to a very pretty peanut crusted chicken that is sautéed or a peanut crusted baked salmon. If you want a gluten free noodle salad, this recipe is great with chilled 100% buckwheat soba noodles.
Peanuts are rich in vitamin B, an anti-stress vitamin that can boost the neurotransmitter chemical in your brain called serotonin that makes you feel good. And not only do peanuts contain vitamin B, a spoonful of peanut butter is also rich in magnesium which relaxes muscles and nerves, increases energy levels, and activates the vitamin B resulting in the serotonin production. So I think this dish gives a new meaning to comfort food.
Copycat Houston’s Thai Salad With Peanut Crusted Chicken or Salmon
- Napa cabbage, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced thin
- green onions, sliced thin
- sliced radishes
- cucumber, diced
- tomato, diced
- avocado, diced
- mango, diced
- fresh mint, sliced into slivers or small pieces
- fresh basil, sliced into slivers or small pieces
- fresh cilantro, sliced into slivers or small pieces
- 100% buckwheat soba noodles, cooked and chilled (optional)
- salted roasted peanuts, cut into pieces (optional)
Peanut Crusted Chicken Breasts
- 4 large chicken breasts
- 2/3 cup regular or gluten free fresh bread crumbs* (Nutritious Gluten Free Sandwich Bread June /2014)
- 2/3 cup peanuts
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup flour or brown rice flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil or light olive oil*
Slice chicken breasts down the middle, place in a plastic bag and pound evenly to 1/2″ thick. Place bread crumbs, peanuts, basil leaves, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until crumbly. Put beaten egg in a pie plate or a dish. Sprinkle nut mixture on another place and the rice flour on another. One at a time dust the chicken breasts with the rice flour, dip in the egg, then set in the nut mixture and bring some of the mixture over the top and press the mixture evenly around each piece. Set on a plate in one layer and chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Heat a non stick sauté pan for 5 minutes on medium high. Add the butter and oil. (If you don’t have a large enough sauté pan, use two sauté pans so you can do all eight pieces at one time, dividing the butter and oil between the pans). When the butter and oil are hot carefully slip the chicken off the plate into the pan (it should sizzle) and cook 4 minutes on each side. Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes before cutting the pieces into strips. *I don’t use dry or toasted crumbs because I like the crust soft but if you spread the bread crumbs on a plate to dry for a little while, it makes it easier to bread the chicken.
(You can also place the uncooked breasts in a butter casserole and bake them in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.)
*Trader Joe’s Trader Grotto’s Sicilian (cold pressed) Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a blend of three olives from Sicily, packaged in Italy in a beautiful bottle. It’s light and delicious. Store it in the dark and use up within a month.
Peanut Crusted Baked Salmon
- 1 pound salmon
- 1/4 cup regular or gluten free fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts
- 2 basil leaves
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons mayonaise
Place breadcrumbs, peanuts, basil leaves, salt and pepper in food processor and process until crumbs. Place salmon in a 9″ by 9″ pyrex dish, drizzle with olive oil and spread the oil and minced garlic over the top and bottom. Spread the mayonnaise on the top only, then sprinkle with the crumb mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- 1/2 cup unsalted peanut butter (chunky is fine)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 6 tablespoons light olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos (soy free ‘soy sauce’)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, cut into small pieces
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha chili paste
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
Blend in a food processor until almost smooth. It’s better to use a food processor and not a blender so the cilantro will be small flakes and the dressing will be a nice color. Note: You’ll only need half this amount of dressing if you are doing 1 pound of salmon.
Arrange the salad on a plate, drizzle with dressing (or keep the dress on the side) and lay the chicken strips across the top or place the salmon along the side of the salad.