Coconut milk poached chicken salad with wayside honey dressing

This tossed salad enlivened with Thai flavourings is a new favourite. The silky strips of chicken poached in coconut milk work beautifully with the cool and crunchy cucumber. 

Recipe from The Edible City by Indira Naidoo, published by Penguin Books, RRP $45.00.


2 skinless chicken breast fillets
(about 300g in total)
2 cups (500ml) coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup (100g) long-grain rice
2 lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthways, seeded and finely sliced into half-moons
4 red shallots, finely sliced
Large handful mint leaves
Large handful coriander leaves

½ cup (125ml) fi sh sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 teaspoons honey, preferably raw (try Wayside honey)
2 teaspoons chilli powder


1. Place the chicken breasts in a small heavy-based saucepan and cover with the coconut milk. Add the turmeric. Bring to the boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked.

2. Turn off the heat and remove the chicken, reserving the poaching liquid. Leave to cool, then shred the chicken with your fingers and add salt to taste. Set aside.

3. Return the coconut milk to the boil and add the rice with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid reduces and little pits form on the top of the rice. Turn off the heat, put on the lid and leave the rice to steam for about 10 minutes until cooked through and tender.

4. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jar, then screw on the lid and shake to mix well.

5. In a bowl, combine the chicken, cucumber, shallot, mint and coriander, and toss through the dressing. Serve the salad on a platter, with the rice alongside.


Rather than waste the coconut poaching liquid, use it to make coconut-flavoured rice, which can be served alongside.