Khmer Chicken Salad - Chef Recipe by Esca Khoo

Khmer Chicken Salad - Chef Recipe by Esca Khoo


2 whole free-range chickens
1kg chicken wings
2 white pomelo
2 yam beans
2 punnets mixed leaves edible flowers
500mL vegetable oil
150g dried shrimp
150mL coconut vinegar
150mL fish sauce
300g gula melaka
100g ginger
100g red chillies
25g salt
100g shallots
100g lime zest
100mL lime juice
1 bunch coriander
1 bunch dill
1 bunch Thai basil
1 dozen eggs
250g salt
250g sugar


For cured yolks:

Begin by mixing salt and sugar in a bowl and spreading out the mixture onto a tray, make small indents with an egg so that the egg yolk can be placed in curing mix.

Proceed to separate the egg yolk and white from 6 eggs carefully and place into indents of the curing tray, top gently with more curing mix and let it cure for 48 hours in the fridge. Once it is cured, remove the yolks and dry in a dehydrator at 50 C for 12 hours.

For chicken stock and protein:

Make a chicken stock by roasting the wings in a 200 C oven for around 30 to 45 minutes, or until brown. Place the wings in a stockpot with 4 litres of water. Deskin your chicken and keep the skin for later use.

Place the chickens in the wing stock and bring to a boil, turn the heat and allow to steep and gently cook for 30 minutes, repeat this step one more time and allow to rest in the stock for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and allow to cool but keep the stock simmering for a further 2 hours at 70 C.

Remove chicken meat from the carcass and dice up, reserving the meat later to be tossed with aromatic paste.

For chicken skin:

Take the chicken skin and lay in between trays with parchment paper. Line and bake flat at a 160 C oven for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden. Allow to cool and season with salt. Reserve for garnish later.

For aromatic paste:

Take chillies, ginger and shallots and char them with a blow torch, in a hot pan/wok or on a charcoal barbeque. Once dark, smokey and charred, allow to cool before pulsing the aromats in a blender (aim for coarse consistency).

In a pan add in 500mL oil and heat, fry off the aromats, once fragrant add in salt, fish sauce, gula melaka and coconut vinegar to cook off with the aromats on medium heat; or until the mix is well married together.

Once aromatic and consistency is reached, allow to cool before adding in lime zest and the juice to complete the paste.

For the shrimp floss:

Roast the dried shrimp in the oven at 150 C for 10 minutes or in a wok until fragrant, then cool before pulsing the shrimp in a blender for shrimp floss. To be used for garnish seasoning of the dish.

For yam bean and pomelo:

Peel the yam beans and cut into irregular bite-size chunks, as well as with the pomelo, segmenting into irregular sizes (reserved juice and fill in a mini spray bottle).

For the egg yolk sauce:

Take 1 litre of your chicken stock and reduce it till you have 1/5 or around 100,mL to 150ml. Separate the egg yolks from the whites.

Whisk the egg yolks and pass through a sieve. Reserve the reduction and egg yolks for later. (Do a ratio of 50mL yolk to 100mL reduction).

To assemble:

Chop your herbs and toss with your diced chicken, season the chicken with aromatic paste to your taste.

Plate on your desired dish, garnish your chicken salad with pomelo and yam bean, then season your dish with crispy chicken skin, grated egg yolk and shrimp floss.

Top with mixed leaves and edible flowers. Spray your your dish with the reserved pomelo juice. Then head up your chicken reduction and add that into your bowl of egg yolks and mix to combine. That will be your egg yolk sauce to season the Khmer chicken salad tableside and that completes the dish.