Coconut & lemongrass poached chicken salad

Styling: Carlie Monasso . Photography: Samara Clifford

By Zara D’Cotta

I threw this salad together for a Melbourne Cup BBQ at a friend’s place and it was a hit.  It’s full of light, fresh flavours and crunchy texture, making it a guaranteed crowd pleaser during the warmer weather.  It’s super easy and quick to prepare, so don’t be put off by the size of the ingredients list.

You will need:

For the chicken
2 chicken breast fillets
400mL can coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
1 tbs fish sauce
Squeeze lime juice or 1 kaffir lime leaf

For the salad:
1/4 purple cabbage
2 carrots, grated/julienned
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
Red or yellow capsicum, chopped
Handful of bean sprouts
Handful of mint, chopped
Handful of coriander, chopped

For the dressing:
3 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs apple cider vinegar/rice wine vinegar
1 tbs fish sauce
1 chilli, chopped
2 limes, juiced
1 tbs rice malt syrup
2cm ginger, grated

Fried shallots – deep fry in coconut oil
2 tbs cashew nuts (or peanuts), crushed

What to do
1. Place coconut milk, lemongrass, lime and fish sauce in a saucepan and bring to boil, then reduce heat, add chicken breast and simmer until cooked  (approx. 10 mins). Set aside, shred chicken meat once cool

2. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken and mix through.

3. Put all dressing ingredients in a jar, shake well. Pour over salad

4. Garnish with fried shallots and cashew nuts

Serves 4.


Zara is a healthy home coach and keynote speaker on a mission to empower 1 million people to takes steps towards a healthier home. Zara learned about the link between our homes and our health after going through two different types of cancer. Zara is passionate about shining the spotlight on what she believes to be the least understood health challenges of our time, and sharing the things she wishes she had known, that could have prevented the illnesses she has been through. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading health influencers, Zara was a finalist in the 2014 Bupa Health Influencer of the Year Awards. She has appeared on TEN News, Today Show and The Project, been featured in the Herald Sun, I Quit Sugar, and contributed Medibank’s Be. Magazine and Fairfax health online publications. Zara contributed to the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s first comprehensive report on breast cancer in young women in Australia.

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