Coconut- Lime Chicken with Cabbage Salad

January 05, 2024

Coconut- Lime Chicken with Cabbage Salad

Recipe source:

By Liz Mervosh/ 

A spicy, tangy peanut butter and coconut milk dressing pulls this crunchy fresh salad together.


1 cup well-shaken and stirred coconut milk, divided

4 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 3 to 4 limes), divided

2 tablespoons grated palm sugar (see Note) or light brown sugar

1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon grated, peeled fresh ginger (from 1 [1 1/2-inch] piece fresh ginger), divided

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6 thighs), excess fat trimmed

3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1 1/2 tablespoons sambal oelek (such as Huy Fong) (see Note)

8 cups shredded green cabbage (from 1 [3-pound] head cabbage)

1 cup matchstick-cut carrots

1 cup chopped mixed fresh tender herbs (such as cilantro and basil), plus more for garnish 1 cup coarsely chopped salted dry roasted peanuts

1/2 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

lime wedges, for serving


Step 1

Whisk together 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2 tablespoons lime juice, palm sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons ginger in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Transfer marinade to a large ziplock plastic bag. Add chicken, and seal bag, pressing out all air. Massage bag to evenly coat chicken with marinade. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 5 hours.

 Step 2

Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Meanwhile, whisk together peanut butter, sambal oelek, remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk, remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon ginger in a large bowl until blended and smooth. Reserve 1/3 cup dressing for drizzling.

Step 3

Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken on well-oiled grates; grill, covered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thighs registers 165°F, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (Alternatively, chicken can be cooked indoors on the stovetop using a grill pan.) Remove from heat; let rest 5 minutes. Slice chicken crosswise into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices.

Step 4

Add cabbage, carrots, herbs, peanuts, and toasted coconut to dressing in large bowl; toss until well coated. Season with salt to taste. Transfer cabbage mixture to a large platter; top with sliced chicken and drizzle evenly with reserved dressing. Garnish salad with herbs, and serve with lime wedges.


Palm sugar, made from the sap of palm trees, adds a mild caramel flavor. Look for it at specialty grocery stores or online at Sambal oelek, an Indonesian chile condiment, is available at most grocery stores.

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