April 23, 2024

Chicken Salad with Coconut Crunch

Recipe: Molly Baz

“Crunchy, fresh veg is mixed with a peanuty coconut ginger dressing and coconut crunch — a nut, coconut, sesame seed and curry powder granola — that you can snack on all day.” — Molly Baz


Coconut Crunch

  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups nuts, such as raw cashews, roasted peanuts and/or raw almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp white and/or black sesame seeds
  • 1 lime

Peanut-coconut Dressing

  • 1 half-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Chicken Salad with Coconut Crunch

  • 1 1/2 lbs. mixed crunchy vegetables, such as snap peas, carrots, Broccolini, radishes, cucumbers, daikon, kohlrabi and/or celery
  • Peanut-coconut Dressing (see above)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 cups picked rotisserie chicken meat or other leftover cooked protein
  • Coconut Crunch (see previous column)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Lime juice, to taste


Yield: Serves 4

Make Coconut Crunch

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Separate egg and place white in large bowl. Reserve yolk for future aioli. Vigorously whisk until fluffy, foamy, soft peaks form.
  3. Add brown sugar, toasted sesame oil, curry powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Whisk to incorporate. Add nuts, coconut flakes, sesame seeds and zest of lime. Fold with rubber spatula, until coated.
  4. Scrape mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread in even layer. Transfer to oven and bake, stirring halfway through, until coconut is lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then use hands to break up into large chunks.

Make Dressing

  1. Finely grate fresh ginger into large bowl. Add coconut milk, peanut butter, vegetable oil, juice of lime, toasted sesame oil and brown sugar. Whisk, until smooth. Season with salt, to taste.

Make Salad

  1. Chop, slice, julienne, trim, shave and/or dice mixed crunchy vegetables, then add to bowl of Peanut-coconut Dressing. The shapes don’t really matter, as long as everything is more or less bite-size, so get creative.
  2. Coarsely chop leaves and tender stems from cilantro and add to bowl.
  3. Add chicken to bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add a few handfuls of Coconut Crunch and toss to combine. Add more lime juice as needed, to taste.
  4. Divide salad among plates and top with more Coconut Crunch.

Recipe from More is More ©2023 by Molly Baz. Photographs ©2023 by PEDEN + MUNK. Illustrations ©2023 Claire McCracken. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House