Shredded chicken salad with lemongrass & lime


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia

Fire Islands

By Eleanor Ford

Published 2019

  • About

Light, bright and zingy, this is the perfect dish for a summer’s day. Poached chicken is shredded then tossed with lots of crunchy bits and a zippy lime, lemongrass and coconut dressing. You can buy crisp-fried shallots and garlic in large plastic tubs in Asian supermarkets. They are a staple in Indonesian cooking and you’ll soon work your way through them once you get in the habit of scattering them onto salads, curries, rice and noodles...


Poached chicken

  • 2 cm (¾ inch) ginger, smashed
  • 3 chicken breasts, skin on


  • 4 lemongrass sticks, tender centres finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste, toasted
  • 4 teaspoons dark palm sugar (gula jawa), shaved
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 160 ml (generous ½ cup) coconut milk
  • 80 ml ( cup) lime juice (about 3 limes)


  • 100 g ( oz) fresh coconut, grated
  • 150 g ( oz) beansprouts
  • Chinese napa cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3 lime leaves, deveined and finely shredded
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons crisp-fried shallots
  • 2 tablespoons crisp-fried garlic


In a large pan, bring to the boil 1 litre (4 cups) water with the slice of smashed ginger and a good pinch of salt. Add the chicken breasts and simmer over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the liquid for up to an hour.

Make the dressing by mixing the lemongrass, shrimp paste, sugar and salt. Whisk in the coconut milk and lime juice and taste for a balance of flavours.

Once the chicken is cool, discard the skin and shred the flesh into long strips. Toss with the salad ingredients and dressing.