The Ultimate Chicken Tamarind Salad Recipe

Easy, punchy, goes-with-anything—life ain't the same with the Hemsley sisters' go-to party salad

This chicken tamarind salad is our party special so it had to be our first recipe for Sous Style – it’s simple and everyone loves it. We’re big on Asian flavours, so we make sure the ingredients for this easy sauce are in our cupboard at all times! You’ll probably know the tangy tamarind flavour from Thai and Southeast Asian cooking – our mum cooks with this super sour and addictive tamarind fruit all the time in the Filipino classic Sinigang.

Our vibrant salad would also be perfect with roast duck, lamb, beef, prawns, mussels and delicious with tempeh – marinate the tempeh in the tamarind sauce and then saute in coconut oil or bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

We always look to eat the best produce we can find. In particular, naturally reared meat is a must – we believe it’s important to buy the best quality you can afford. Seek out a local, trusted butcher and request meat from organic, free range, pasture-raised animals.

We like to eat protein and starch separately for better digestion so instead of using buckwheat noodles we make our own noodles from raw courgettes (that’s zucchini to you guys!) and fondly call them courgetti. We’ve got an excellent gadget called the spiraliser but you can also use a julienne peeler or go gadget free and thinly slice the courgette lengthways, then slice into thin ribbons.

The salad and sauce can be made up in advance, just don’t combine until you’re ready to eat, then gently warm the sauce to serve and enjoy!

Chicken Tamarind Salad

Use organic ingredients where possible
Serves 4

For the chicken salad:
4 large chicken thighs/drumsticks or 1 small chicken
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 medium courgettes/zucchini, spiralised or sliced into noodle shaped ribbons
1 small handful of pink radishes, finely sliced
1 small red cabbage, finely shredded, approx 350g
1 small handful mangetout/snap peas, sliced on the angle
2 large carrots, julienned into matchsticks
4 – 6 spring onions/scallions, or 1 small red onion finely sliced
3 large handfuls of leaves – we used watercress and lambs lettuce but you could use shredded kale, lettuce, chard, spinach
1 large handful of fresh herbs – we had a mixture of coriander/cilantro, mint and basil (or thai basil if you can get it)
2 limes, quartered

For the tamarind sauce:
3 tbsp almond butter, chunky or smooth
4 tbsp tamarind paste
4 tbsp maple syrup
2 large garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
1 teaspoon Tamari
optional: some fresh or dried chilli to your taste
250ml water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions, babe: 

Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).
Rub ½ teaspoon of sea salt into the chicken skin and roast for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through – a whole chicken will need longer.
Meanwhile prepare the salad by spiraling the courgettes/zucchinis or slicing them into ribbons.
Thinly slice the radishes and onions, shred the red cabbage, julienne the carrots and roughly chop the herbs.
On a large serving platter, pile the courgette noodles in the middle and arrange the leaves around the edge. Layer up with the carrots, mangetout/peas and red cabbage and then scatter over half of the spring onions, radishes and herbs.
Remove the chicken and allow to cool, then shred using two forks and scatter over the salad – don’t forget the crispy skin!
Mix all the tamarind sauce ingredients, except the EVOO in a saucepan, then simmer with the lid on for 8 minutes. When cooled slightly, whisk in the extra virgin olive oil and use to dress the salad.
Garnish with the remaining spring onions, radishes and herbs and serve with the fresh lime wedges.

Melissa and Jasmine
Hemsley & Hemsley