There are hardly words for how good it feels to be back in the kitchen. Not just any kitchen, mind you, but a brand new one with not a speck of beige in sight and a workspace that (gasp!) works for me! I took my time putting everything back in its place, but now it is fully operational and I have been cooking up a storm. I will be sharing lots of photos and more details of the renovation soon once a few small details have been tied up, but in the mean time I have lots of great food to share with you all.

There is nothing quite like fabulous cookbooks to help get the inspiration flowing, and this salad is from a new favorite of mine. Since having my kitchen back and acquiring this book, I have cooked dinner from its pages approximately two thirds of our dinners for the past two weeks. I first made this spicy rice noodle salad with chicken and crunchy veggies on a Friday evening after getting stuck out in the pouring rain for an hour (long but funny story for a later date), and I had no energy or sunlight to take photos that evening. However, it was such a hit with the family that I made it again the very next week because I simply could not wait to share it with you. There is just so much to love about this meal! It is very veg heavy, but not so much that salad side-eyers would take issue with it. The delicious crunch from all the colorful veggies, the spicy and tangy dressing, and the punch of fresh flavor from the basil and mint all combine to make an irresistible meal. We love it for dinner and lunches, but I can also see this being a perfect contribution to a potluck or other get together. I hope you love it as much as we do!


For the salad:

  • 1½ tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. chile-garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp. sriracha
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 cups shredded green or savoy cabbage
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced sugar snap peas
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 8 oz. pad thai rice noodles (I prefer brown rice)
  • Handful of fresh basil and mint leaves, coarsely chopped

For the dressing: 

  • 6 tbsp. walnut oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 5 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. sriracha
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt


  • 01

    In a wide shallow dish, combine the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, chile-garlic sauce, sriracha, and garlic. Whisk together to blend. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3-6 hours.

  • 02

    To make the dressing, combine all dressing ingredients. Whisk together to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Set aside.

  • 03

    Set the chicken out to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, peas, bell pepper, scallions, jalapeño, and a couple pinches of salt.

  • 04

    Heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. (A heavy skillet with a bit of oil also works.) Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, letting any excess drip back into the bowl. Sprinkle lightly with salt and all sides. Cook the thighs, skin side down first, until crisp and charred, about 7 minutes. Flip and grill until cooked through, 5-7 minutes more. Remove to a plate and set aside.

  • 05

    Bring a pot of water to boil. Once boiling, cook the noodles according to the package directions.  While boiling the water and cooking the noodles, shred the chicken thighs and add the meat to the bowl with the vegetables. When the noodles are cooked, drain and rinse under cold water for a minute or two. Drain again, and add to the bowl with the vegetables and chicken.

  • 06

    Add about half of the dressing to the bowl with the salad and toss well to coat. Taste and add more if necessary. Save the remainder for the next time you make this dish!

  • stephanie

    Can’t wait to make this!! And I can’t believe you didn’t add cilantro (Yay! bc cilantro = soap for me). I love mint/basil combo and my garden is bursting with both right now. Thanks for sharing!

  • Stephanie Bloomberg

    So happy to see you posting recipes here again! Also, YAY for your new kitchen! Looking forward to seeing your post and pictures.

  • Sarah

    Yummy! can’t wait to make this. I’m going to try with tofu and/or tempeh too because recently watched Food Inc. again and have subsequently recommitted to more of a plant based diet!

  • baking4six

    “salad side-eyers”, Brilliant!! Sharing in your excitement over your “new” kitchen

  • Molly KA

    Great recipe for the summer! Easy, made a ton, and had great leftovers. My two toddlers enjoyed it was well.

  • Kristin

    Just made this! So good and fresh. Perfect for the summer and super easy. Made a couple modifications and used chicken breast instead of thighs (it was what I had) and only sesame oil instead of walnut oil just based on what I had. This will be perfect for leftovers at work for the rest of the week! I’ve already ordered that cookbook, and I’m one of those “salad side-eyers”.

    Glad you’re in the kitchen again. Can’t wait to see what you have in store.

  • This sounds so good. I had something similar in Charleston, and have been thinking about it ever since. Making this soon. Good boat meal to take with us!

  • Melanie Griffiths Stykalo

    This was delicious! Made our with marinated tofu instead of a chicken. My boys are already asking for it again:)

  • SallyT

    Looks awesome! For some reason, this didn’t come through on my reader (, if you want to check into it). Thanks!

  • Kjerste Whaley

    Making this for dinner tomorrow. Can’t wait!!

  • TH

    This recipe looks great! Is there a substitute for the walnut oil? Thanks

  • Annie

    Try Googling “walnut oil substitute”. Enjoy!

  • Annie

    So happy to hear it!

  • nicole

    This recipe is a keeper! Even my picky 8 year old liked it (he gave it 1.5 thumbs up, out of 2, LOL)
    I used avocado oil in place of the walnut oil, since that is what I had on hand. And added some extra sriracha to my plate. Filling, fresh and perfect for hot summer days (if we ever get any of those in NY!)
    Looking forward to seeing your new kitchen. And lots more recipes!

  • Melanie Griffiths Stykalo

    I ended up using grapeseed oil in mine. I’m sure the walnut oil would’ve made it ‘pop’ but it was still delicious without it!

  • Melanie Griffiths Stykalo

    I did tofu with mine and it was awesome! Made the chicken marinade but simply subbed in firm/extra firm tofu

  • Tara

    Wow- Just made it. Perfect for summer!! Glad I trusted Annie and got several new ingredients I don’t usually use. It was worth it. And it comes together really fast the second night using cold leftover chicken and everything chopped from the day before. Plus the kids had fun mixing it all up. They called it “Rainbow Salad” (I used purple and green cabbage which added extra color) I might try soba noodles next time just because I like them.
    Also, reading Mighty Salads from the library. Thanks you for the recommendation!
    Keep up the great work, Annie!

  • Gillian

    Yum yum yum! Thanks for posting this recipe! In case anyone finds the whole salad recipe overwhelming, the chicken alone is fantastic (I used boneless skinless thighs). I made this ahead for lunches for the week and the only things I would do differently would be to cook the noodles for a couple minutes longer than directed as they dry out over a few days, and I increased the veggies by almost 100% after day one because this combo was so awesome (and this from someone who is not in love with veggies).

    I googled for others from the cookbook and also am in love with the kale Caesar salad with roasted onions. I decided I need the whole cookbook and put it on my birthday wishlist!