Southeast Asian Cluster Love Bok Slaw

You can hate the name, but you can't hate the dish. Best thing I made with last week's CSA. No pictures because I was too hungry, and it was too delicious. Why Southeast Asian Cluster Love? Because I included Thai, Vietnamese, and Lao influences. Napa cabbage would work instead of bok choy. It would probably keep better too. In my everyday cooking, I don't use measurements. I cook by smell, taste, sound, and texture. Salads don't make important sounds.

SE Asian Cluster Love Salad

2 chicken quarter legs/4 chicken thighs
fish sauce
lemon grass
lime juice
nut butter
sesame oil
1 bunch bok choy or half a Napa cabbage (those things are huge!)
1 bunch mint
carrots, cucumber, radishes, green onions, other salad veggies

1. Mix fish sauce, lemon grass, chopped garlic, and sugar. Marinate the chicken in this at least overnight.

2. Bake chicken at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You can leave the skin on or off. I took the skin off and fried it separately in a pan to make some Vietnamese style chicken rinds. They were delicious.

3. Cut chicken into bite size pieces. I cut using my bare hands. Bones go to soup stock or the trash. Cooked chicken bones do NOT go to the dog.

4. Chiffonade bok choy and mint. Slice the other veggies. Crunchy salad vegetables work best. I wouldn't use tomato in this. The mint works REALLY well with this Thai/Lao fusion dressing because it counteracts the heaviness of the nut butter and umami of the fish sauce. Do NOT skimp on the mint.

5. Combine nut butter, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and sesame oil in a food processor. Taste and adjust as necessary. You won't need too much sesame oil because the nut butter is fatty. The fish sauce flavor is best balanced with lime juice or sugar. Sriracha would be good if you want something spicy.

6. Combine veggies, chicken, and nut butter dressing. Best eaten the day it's made. If you want to make it ahead of time, wait until a few hours before serving to dress the salad.

On another note, it's my second CSA pick up, and I already have kale. I've been bracing myself for kale since I was considering getting a CSA. I also have some excellent salad greens.


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