Coconut and Lime Pulled Chicken with Kimchi Style Slaw

Now there’s a mouthful of a recipe title for you. I have been meaning to post this recipe for Coconut and Lime Pulled Chicken with Kimchi Style Slaw for quite a while now. In fact, ever since I discovered The Reckless Chef in the West Waterford Festival of Food last year. We were strolling among the stalls and as soon as the delicious smells from the Vietnamese street food stall hit us we knew we had to join the long queue. It was worth the wait, I got a salad bowl while himself got the Bahn Mi baguette in the pictures above.

We loved it so much that when heard they had opened in an outside terrace in a bar in Tramore, we took off on a freezing cold November Saturday night to sit outside to taste their fab food again. This is not an ad by the way, I’m just an over enthusiastic fan.

Since lockdown I have been experimenting even more to try to have the food we are missing at home. I’m delighted with this recipe but I will still be heading back as soon as things get back to normal.





Useful tips & links:

  • The coconut and lime chicken is quite subtle but very fragrant. It can take a big punch of heat on the side so the kimchi style slaw is delicious with it.
  • The original dish was served with kimchi but I was too impatient to make my own. You can buy some good quality kimchi or make your own with this recipe from Our Korean Kitchen by Jordan Bourke and Rejina Pyo. Instead, I was inspired by a recipe in Jennifer Joyce’s My Asian Kitchen to go with a slaw.
  • The dressing recipe makes far more than you will need here but it will keep in an airtight container for several weeks in the fridge.
  • If you cannot get gochujang, use another hot sauce such as sriracha but the fermented flavour of gochujang is really delicious here.
  • I have used chicken breasts but thighs would be great here. If you have chicken skin on top, fry this separately and crumble over the salad for extra crunch and flavour.
  • Himself loved the baguette so much that I adapted the recipe for him. I heated a baguette, mixed some of the slaw with mayonnaise and added that and the chicken and sauce to the baguette.
  • For another delicious recipe have a look at Pikalily’s Vietnamese Inspired Turkey Salad.
  • For more ways to use gochujang have a look at these recipes.






Coconut and Lime Pulled Chicken with Kimchi Style Slaw


Serves 4-6



  • Sunflower oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • A clove of garlic
  • A green chilli
  • 5cm piece of ginger
  • 3 lime leaves
  • The juice of a lime
  • 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 4 chicken breast fillets, sliced in half to give you 8 thin fillets
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce

For the slaw

  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of mirin
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 1½ tablespoons of gochujang paste
  • A large pinch of sugar
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 5cm piece of cucumber, seeds removed and julienned
  • ¼ head of red cabbage, finely sliced

To serve

  • Rice or rice noodles, spinach, toasted sesame seeds and chopped coriander


  • Make a simple paste by blitzing the shallot, lemongrass, garlic, chilli, lime leaves and lime juice in a mini processor.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add in the paste. Fry for a couple of minutes until the paste becomes fragrant.
  • Pour in the coconut milk, cumin, turmeric, tamarind and soy sauce and heat it up until it is just about to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chicken. Cover the pan and allow it to gently simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  • While the chicken is cooking, make the slaw. Whisk together the rice wine vinegar, soy, mirin, sesame oil, gochujang and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the dressing over the sliced veg and mix well. Taste and add more dressing as needed.
  • When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the sauce and shred with two forks. While shredding the chicken, increase the heat slightly under the coconut sauce to reduce it. Don’t allow it to boil or it could split. Taste as season or add more lime juice as needed.
  • Plate your rice or noodles, a handful of spinach and some of the slaw. Top with the pulled chicken and pour over a little of the coconut and lime sauce. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and coriander.












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