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Not at all authentic and decidedly Westernized, but beautiful to serve and fun to eat. Essentially a summer salad meal, it is also great in winter with a steaming bowl of noodle soup and a cooling citrus yoghurt to follow. I am quite often lazy enough to take out a small rotisserie chicken and use it without skin and bones instead of grilling the breasts. The optional chillies, without or with seeds, determine the degree of heat you desire or your guests can handle.
- 1 large pineapple, peeled and sliced into medium-thick rounds
- 4 skinless chicken breasts, coated with
- soy sauce, and grilled till just cooked
- 6 large spring onions, green and white parts separated
- 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded but not peeled, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 bunch basil leaves, coarsely shredded
- 200 g snow peas, blanched and cooled
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves, finely shredded
- 1⁄2 cup fresh pineapple juice
- 1⁄4 cup peanut oil
- 1 small lime, unpeeled, cut into eighths
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 -6 fresh red chilies, deseeded or not and roughly chopped (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup dry roasted peanuts, crushed into coarse crumbs in the mortar
- 1 head lettuce, soft-leaved
- Cut the cores out of the pineapple slices and set aside. Arrange the slices on the bottom of an attractive glass bowl.
- Slice the chicken breasts thinly and layer on top of the pineapple.
- Slice the white parts of the spring onions into thin diagonal (Chinese-style) slivers. Sprinkle over the chicken. Roughly chop the green parts and set aside.
- Sprinkle the carrot shreds over the onions.
- Layer the tomato slices over the carrots, and top them with the basil shreds.
- Cut the snow peas into 1-inch lengths, on the diagonal, and scatter them over the tomato and basil.
- Spread the mint shreds over the snow peas.
- Make the dressing:.
- Place all the dressing ingredients plus the pineapple cores and the green parts of the spring onions in the blender and puree to a sauce.
- Taste for sweet-sour-salt balance, adding palm sugar, rice vinegar or soy sauce if necessary.
- Pour over the layered salad, cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or up to eight hours.
- To serve:.
- Crumble the peanuts on top of the salad.
- Serve a separate bowl of soft lettuce leaves for wrapping the salad.
- The guests help themselves to lettuce leaves, pile some salad onto them, wrap them neatly and eat with their fingers.