Spicy Asparagus Bean Salad
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 6 oz. ground dark-meat chicken
- 3 Tbs. grated unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 lb. asparagus beans or slender green beans
such as Blue Lake, trimmed
- 1/4 lb. cooked shrimp, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 red serrano chili, seeded and chopped
- 1 green serrano chili, seeded and chopped
For the garlic and shallot chips:
- 2 cups peanut or corn oil for frying
- 6 shallots, about 6 oz., cut into thin slivers
- 8 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
For the coconut cream:
- 1/2 can (7 fl. oz.) unsweetened coconut milk,
- 1/2 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 Tbs. Thai roasted chili paste
- 1 Tbs. fish sauce
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 3 Tbs. roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish
In a small dry fry pan over medium heat, toast the coconut, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the beans and blanch until tender-crisp, about 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking. Cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Add the coconut, beans, shrimp, bell pepper, and red and green chilies to the chicken and stir to combine.
To make the garlic and shallot chips, in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, warm the 2 cups peanut oil until the temperature reaches 325°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Add the shallots and fry until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Add the garlic to the heated oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
To make the coconut cream, in a small saucepan over high heat, combine the coconut milk and the palm sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced to a thick cream, about 5 minutes.
To make the dressing, in a bowl, combine the lime juice, chili paste, fish sauce and sugar. Whisk in 3 Tbs. of the coconut cream.
Pour the dressing over the salad, add the garlic and shallot chips and toss gently to combine. Transfer to a platter. Drizzle with the remaining coconut cream and garnish with the peanuts. Serve immediately.