Crispy Sambal Chicken Cutlets with Cabbage Salad
Inspired by Malaysian fried chicken, these chicken cutlets are marinated in a fiery umami-packed combination of hot chili sambal, fish sauce and lime juice before being breaded and fried. The result are crispy, crunchy chicken cutlets with an underlying heat that keeps you coming back for bite after bite. Serve with a simple yet cooling cabbage salad.
Cook's note: Turn this recipe into the ultimate fried chicken sandwich. All you need is a few extra ingredients: 4 slices milk bread, 1/4 cup good mayonnaise and an extra teaspoon or two of hot chili sambal. Mix the hot chili sambal into the mayonnaise and slather on the slices of milk bread. Top 2 slices of bread with one crispy chicken cutlet each and generous amount cabbage salad. Finish by topping each sandwich with the second sambal mayo-slathered slice of bread.
Recipe, food styling and photography by Asha Loupy
- Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Red Boat Fish Sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Hot Chili Sambal from Auria's Malaysian Kitchen, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Two 6-ounce chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups Japanese panko breadcrumbs
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Lime Leaf Sambal from Auria's Malaysian Kitchen
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups green or red cabbage, shredded
- 2 Persian cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced into half moons
- 2 watermelon radishes, julienned
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
For the chicken cutlets, combine the lime juice, fish sauce, sambal, chopped cilantro and garlic in a small bowl and whisk together. Arrange the chicken cutlets in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the chicken, flipping the chicken to make sure that all the cutlets are coated. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking to come to room temperature.
While the chicken is marinating, prep the salad. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey and salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continuously, until the dressing is emulsified. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, cucumber, radishes, green onions and cilantro leaves. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To prepare the chicken, place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Arrange three plates: the flour on first plate, the lightly beaten eggs on the second plate and the panko breadcrumbs and salt on the last plate.
One cutlet at a time, dredge the cutlet in flour, knocking off any excess. Then dip it in the egg, coating it on both sides. Then coat with the panko mixture, pressing to adhere to all surfaces. Place the finished breaded cutlets on the racked baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken cutlets. Let the breaded cutlets sit for 5 minutes (this will help them be even crispier when you fry them).
While the chicken is resting, heat about 1 1/2 inches of canola oil to about 375°F in a large high-sided or cast iron skillet. Gently lower the breaded cutlets into the hot oil. Fry until cooked through and golden brown on both sides, flipping once, about 2–3 minutes per side. Remove and transfer the cooked chicken cutlets to a paper towel lined plate.
To finish the dish, add the reserved dressing to the cabbage salad mixture, and toss to coat. Arrange the cooked chicken cutlets on one side of a large platter and mound the cabbage salad on the other side. Serve more sambal on the side for those looking for even more fiery heat.