I seem to be in charge of the appetizers at all the recent parties among my friends. To be sure not to repeat myself too much, I’ve been trying to use my imagination. The most recent favorite is this baby bok choy with gluten-free Thai coconut chicken. The bok choy is a nice fresh, crunchy way to serve up shredded chicken with a creamy coconut sauce. Any kind of green can be used, endive works well too.
Make Ahead Chicken Appetizer
I serve the chicken cold, so this dish works really well if you make the sauce and chicken a day ahead, then just assemble on the day of. Even better, the coconut sauce will get more flavorful as it sits. The sauce will get very firm in the refrigerator, so heat for 5-10 seconds in the microwave to loosen it (if you get it too warm, it will lose its creamy texture).
Coconut Sauce Ingredients
Thai fish sauce adds a little burst of umami and some saltiness. Some vegan options are equal amounts of coconut aminos or a splash of soy sauce or liquid aminos. The latter two are much stronger in flavor so you will use only a couple of drops.
Coconut milk – The full fat canned kind, not light, is what you need to make the sauce rich and creamy and full of coconut flavor.
Lemongrass is a unique and wonderful flavor and can usually be found in your market in the herb section. It looks a bit like a woody version of green onions. If you can’t find it, substitute it with the zest of one lemon.
Fresh ginger – You could us the powdered stuff but I think that using fresh is worth a few extra seconds. The bright fresh bite that comes from fresh grated ginger is way better than the powder. Here is how to grate fresh ginger, with ease so that it will flavor this Thai coconut sauce perfectly.
- As a meal – Serve this gluten-free Thai coconut chicken hot over jasmine rice with sauteed sugar snap peas
- As an appetizer – Put the chicken in a large serving bowl with baby bok choy or endive leaves on the side and let everyone make their own.
- For lunch – Use large leaves of romaine or iceberg lettuce to make a cold wrap.