Crispy Coconut Chicken Salad

I love a crispy chicken salad. This one is inspired by some of my favourite Thai flavours. The salad element is inspired by som tam, the popular Thai green papaya salad. Mine isn’t at all legit but the flavour profile is similar, in large part thanks to the punchy dressing, which is made with fish sauce, lime, chilli and garlic. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

  • Author: zenak
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x



For the dressing: 

  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp honey

For the salad:

  • ½ pointed cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, halved and very thinly sliced
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 100g fine green beans, quartered
  • 30g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

For the chicken:

  • 500g chicken thigh fillets (boneless, skinless chicken thighs) or breasts if you prefer
  • 100g cornflour
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 200g desiccated coconut
  • large knob of coconut oil


  1. Place the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Add the dressing, toss to combine and leave to sit in the fridge while you prepare the chicken.
  3. Pound the chicken thigh fillets to an even thickness of 1 cm and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the cornflour, eggs and desiccated coconut in three separate large, shallow bowls. Dredge the chicken fillets in the cornflour, then the egg, then the desiccated coconut, pressing to ensure they’re fully coated.
  5. Melt the coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan set over a medium-low heat (the heat level is important as you don’t want the coconut to burn before the chicken is cooked). Working in batches if necessary, cook the chicken until golden on both sides and cooked all the way through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack or kitchen towel to drain.
  6. Plate up the chicken with a generous amount of salad on the side then serve and enjoy.


Please note that the coconut coating is crispy but somewhat dense. For a lighter coating, you can use half desiccated coconut half panko breadcrumbs. 

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram, tagging @zenaskitchen. I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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rebekah jones
1 year ago

Is corn flour like corn meal or corn starch?