“Yam Tua What??!” Hey, I didn’t name the dish. But all that matters is that it tastes good. And taste good it does! I had some leftover coconut milk, roasted chili paste, and lime juice that I needed to use, so I decided to make this classic bean dish from Thailand. Yam Tua Poo traditionally uses winged beans, but yard-long beans or green beans (used in this recipe) can be substituted. Wing beans can be found in most Asian supermarkets. This is a tasty Thai bean salad usually uses chicken, but other versions use pork or shrimp.
Here’s a little trivia question for you. Are chopsticks used in Thailand? Well, they used to be, a long time ago. But modern-day Thai people don’t use chopsticks anymore. Chopsticks were used up until the time that King Rama V visited Europe and noticed people eating with utensils. Since that time chopsticks were no longer used in Thailand (unless while eating at a Chinese restaurant). What’s more, Thai people primarily eat with spoons. They really only use forks to help ladle the food onto the spoons. So why are chopsticks in the picture, you ask? Because they look cool. I apologize for being “culinarily incorrect” ;)
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ½ lb fresh green beans, trimmed
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 red chile, seeded and thinly sliced
- ½ cup canned coconut cream
- 2 teaspoons chile paste (preferably roasted)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar (paleo: substitute honey)
- 2 tablespoons French fried onions
- 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, crushed
- Bring a small saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add ½ tablespoon of salt along with the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer the chicken until it is cooked through, about 12 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, discarding the liquid, allow it to cool and then cut it into ¼ inch cubes. Set aside.
- Bring another saucepan filled with water to a boil and add ½ tablespoon salt. Add the green beans and blanch them for about 1 minute until barely tender and still crisp. Immediately drain the liquid and let the beans cool under cold running water. Cut the beans into ¼ inch pieces and set aside.
- In a dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the coconut flakes, stirring to prevent burning, until light golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
- To make the dressing combine all the dressing ingredients and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Place the chicken and beans in a large bowl and add the dressing. Toss to mix and thoroughly coat the chicken and beans. Add the toasted coconut, French fried onions, and peanuts and toss again until combined.
- Serve hot or cold as a light meal with a carb of your choice or as a side.
Adapted from Williams Sonoma