After passing what seemed like endless traffic on a midweek, sunny afternoon my Uber driver tells me that we’re almost on location. As I lower the car window I can hear the Islamic prayer over all the city noises. Instantly it takes me back to the mighty streets of Tehran, where this prayer brings serenity to the streets when played out. We then turn into Brick Lane and that’s the first time that I notice we’re on the (for me) wrong side of the street. Countless curry places, pubs filled with crowds that make you wonder if happy hour started at 9AM and an overload of well-dressed men and women. We’re in London and about to step into the kitchen of a proper globetrotter, who settled here for a couple of years, before venturing off to his next destination: Meet Rene.
Together with his partner, Rene left his hometown in the Netherlands years ago to venture into the world. Although he’d travelled to countless countries, London was his first place to permanently settle in. It doesn’t take a long time to discover what an incredibly friendly, fun-loving character this earthling possesses. With an active social life and a busy job working in media in Central London it’s truly amazing (and slightly humbling) to hear that he loves to cook for both his partner and their fabulous flatmate. What’s on the menu today? Rene is cooking Thai food! Considering the heatwave in London and the fact that we’re slowly eating more and more outdoors (picnic!), he’s showing us a quick & easy recipe for a Summer Thai Chicken Salad. While we taste his colorful dish (scroll down for the recipe!) we talk about their next moving adventure: Vancouver. As I’m a former Vancouverite we had enough to talk about and, as a proper Brit does, we ended up at a local pub. As night falls I realize that the streets are still packed with late diners and (naturally) folks binge-drinking pints. So vibrant and yet filled with such charm, this is London.
- Serving 2
- 2 boneless chicken breasts
- 1 small red onion
- a handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1 lime
- a bunch of fresh cilantro (coriander)
- 1 tsp dried chili flakes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp fish sauce (buy this at any grocery store - if not available at your local Asian grocery store)
- a pinch of salt
- Start by heating up some water in a pot. When the water starts cooking, lower the heat and let it simmer over low/medium heat.
- Dice the (boneless and cleaned) chicken breasts (into small cubes) and add this to the simmering water. Cook the chicken cubes for about 10/15 minutes over low/medium heat, drain and set aside.
- Cut all vegetables (as preferred) and add this, together with the chicken breast into a large bowl.
- Add the lime juice, spices and fish sauce. Mix well and you're ready to serve!
Oh and FYI:
You can serve this dish as a salad, with some bread or even (Thai style!) with cooked rice sticks/sticky rice!