Spicy Thai Chicken Quenelles

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Ingredients [?]

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  • add   Reserved Scallions tops, sliced
  • add   Herb leaves (basil, mint, and/or cilantro)
  • add   Julienned carrots, red pepper and/or daikon radish*
  • add   Sliced cucumber
  • add   Lettuce leaves (preferably red leaf lettuce)
  • add   For serving and garnish:
  • add   1/4 cup Nam Pla or Nuoc Mam* (Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce)
  • add   1 quart Water
  • add   1 quart Chicken Stock or Broth
  • add   For Poaching:
  • add   1 Scallion, sliced
  • add   1 Carrot, peeled and shredded
  • add   Juice of 1 Lime
  • add   4-8 Thai Bird Chilies,* sliced (de-seeding optional, depending on how hot you want the sauce)
  • add   1 Tbs Galangal,* julienned (can sub Ginger)
  • add   5-10 Kaffir Lime Leaves,* julienned
  • add   1 stalk of Lemongrass,* chopped
  • add   1 Shallot, sliced into rings
  • add   1 Tbs Nam pla or Nuoc Mam* (Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce)
  • add   1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • add   Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham):
  • add   1 Egg
  • add   2 lbs Ground Chicken
  • add   1/2 tsp salt
  • add   1 Lime, juice and grated zest
  • add   3 Tbs Nam pla or Nuoc Mam* (Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce)
  • add   3 Tbs Galangal,* peeled and finely chopped (optional)
  • add   1/2 cup herb leaves: Mint, Thai Basil* and/or Cilantro (packed then chopped)
  • add   4 Scallions, bottom two-thirds chopped, green tops sliced and reserved for garnish
  • add   2 Shallots, peeled and quartered
  • add   10-20 Thai Bird Chiles,* seeded and finely minced (can sub another spicy pepper), amount to taste
  • add   1 Tbs Palm Sugar* (can sub light brown sugar)
  • add   1 Tbs fresh Ginger, minced
  • add   5-10 Kaffir Lime Leaves*
  • add   1/4 cup Lemongrass,* inner part of stalk, finely chopped
  • add   4 oz Cellophane noodles*
  • add   Meat Mixture:
  • add   Note: This recipe has a long list of ingredients, but it is put together very simply. All of the ingredients marked with a * can be bought from a Thai or other Asian grocery store, or via mail order (thaigrocer.com). These are excellent as an appetiz


  1. Soak Cellophane noodles in a bowl of hot tap water for about 20 minutes, drain and use kitchen shears to cut them up into small pieces (1/2 - 1 inch long).While they are soaking, prepare the dipping sauce (Nuoc Cham): Combine the first 7 ingredients (broth through chilies) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and turn off heat. Add the Lime Juice, shredded Carrot, and sliced Scallion and pour into an airtight container, set aside to marinate.Place the rest of the Meat Mixture ingredients -- except for the meat, noodles and egg -- in a food processor and pulse until minced, but not pureed.Put the Ground Chicken, chopped noodles, and egg into a large bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients that have been chopped in the food processor. Combine thoroughly with a wooden spoon or your hands. Set aside.To Poach: Combine the Chicken Broth, Water, and Fish Sauce in a large skillet or frying pan, the liquid should be about 1 inch deep. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat slightly. While the poaching liquid is heating, form spoonfuls of the meat mixture into quenelles using two spoons, or just roll them into a cylindrical shape in your hands. Set them on a plate until the poaching liquid is ready. Place the quenelles in the simmering broth (about 1 dozen at a time) cover and reduce heat to very low. Poach for about 5-7 minutes. Repeat until all are finished.To Serve: Serve the quenelles warm or at room temperature, piled on lettuce leaves lining the serving platter. Prepare a separate garnish plate with slices of cucumber, julienned vegetables, herbs, and additional lettuce leaves. Serve individual bowls of Nuoc Cham sauce for dipping.To Eat: Wrap a quenelle and your choice of garnish in a lettuce leaf, dip in Nuoc Cham and eat.Yield: About 3 Dozen Quenelles. Serves 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course.