Burmese cooks are apt to make a large quantity of shallot oil at a time, yielding lots of fried shallots and oil to use in other recipes. Chickpea flour, or “gram flour,” is at many Asian markets. It’s an optional ingredient for this recipe, but use it if you can; it confers unforgettable texture and nutty overtones.
SHALLOT OIL AND FRIED SHALLOTS
|2||tablespoons canola oil|
|2||medium shallots, thinly sliced|
1. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Toss a piece of shallot into the oil to test the temperature; when it sizzles, add the remaining shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the shallots have released their moisture and turned golden.
2. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to paper towels to drain. Reserve the oil.
|4||cooked chicken breasts, meat cut into bite-size pieces|
|4||shallots, thinly sliced, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, and drained|
|Juice of 2 limes, or more to taste|
|Salt, to taste|
|1||green cayenne or other chili pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped|
|2||tablespoons chickpea flour (optional)|
|¾||cup chopped fresh coriander, or mint, or Vietnamese coriander|
1. In a shallow serving bowl, toss the chicken and drained shallots.
2. In another bowl, whisk the lime juice, salt, chili pepper, and shallot oil. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lime juice, if you like. Pour over the salad and, using your hands, mix thoroughly. Set aside for 10 minutes.
3. In a small skillet over medium heat, gently warm the chickpea flour, if using, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until it is fragrant and pale golden; set aside to cool.
4. Add the toasted chickpea flour, fried shallots, and fresh herbs to the chicken mixture. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lime juice, if you like. Adapted from “Burma: Rivers of Flavor”