Filipino-Style Chayote and Chicken Salad
Chayote is a light green-fleshed, delicately flavoured gourd originating in South and Central America. It has many names, including christophene and cho-cho in the Carribean, merliton in the southern U.S. and sayote in the Philippines, where it is widely consumed, as it is in Southern China (合掌瓜) and Southeast and South Asia. It is eaten hot or cold as a vegetable dish or cooked in stir-fries, soups and stews or even sometimes consumed raw in salads. When raw it has a bit of a sticky sap that disappears with quick blanching or thorough cooking.
¼ cup / 60 mL julienned or sliced red radish
¼ cup / 60 mL julienned red onion
1 to 2 cups / 250 to 500 mL cubed cooked chicken (preferably poached)
1 cup / 250 mL mint leaves, loosely packed
⅓ cup / 75 mL chopped coriander
1 tbsp / 15 mL palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 tbsp / 15 mL minced garlic
1½ tsp / 7 mL minced ginger
1 tsp / 5 mL minced Thai chilies
⅓ cup / 75 mL olive oil
¼ cup / 60 mL lime juice
1 tbsp / 15 mL fish sauce
Quarter, peel and core chayotes. Blanch in rapidly boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes until crisp or tender-crisp, respectively, to taste. Drain; chill under cold water and drain well. Cut into large bite-size pieces. Soak radish and onion separately in cold water to cover for 15 minutes. Drain well.
Sauce: Place all ingredients in food processor and purée.
Toss chayote, radish, onion and chicken with sauce. Garnish with extra mint and/or coriander leaves if desired.