Chilli chicken with snake bean salad and a chilli coconut milk dressing


Now that I have decided on a theme for this blog, I am on a roll.

Next to ripen in the vegie patch were the snake beans and, as with everything else, they came with a vengeance.  One day there weren’t any and the next day there was a bucket load.  I decided to grow them because, in previous years, I had noticed a number of bloggers having success with snake beans.  It turns out they are as easy to grow as all other beans and are particularly tasty.

I am really enjoying them.  We had this dish one night and a fish curry the next and I am thinking I may add them to a Thai green chicken curry later in the week.

This recipe has been adapted from Flavours by Donna Hay.  The original recipe states it will serve four.  I quartered the chicken and kept everything else the same and it was the perfect quantity for Maus and me.  If you prefer more chicken and less vegetable per person, feel free to increase the chicken.  The quantities would then serve three or four.

Maus, the critical one, said this dish tasted much better than it looks in the photo.  I don’t think the photo is too bad but she is right in that this was particularly tasty and the photo is not particularly special.

The chilli coconut dressing is really delightful.  I highly recommend it.  It would work with a large variety of salad ingredients and go with any manner of dishes.  Chilli prawns, for one, spring to mind.

Serves 2.



  • 1 tbs* oil
  • 1 large red chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp lime rind, grated (you could use lemon)
  • 1 tbs* sugar
  • 1 chicken breast fillet (if the chicken breast is small or you have a big meat eater in the house, feel free to increase the amount of chicken)


  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 300g snake beans, trimmed

Chilli coconut milk dressing:

  • 1 large red chilli, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 3 tbs* lime (or lemon) juice
  • 1 tbs* fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar

*These are 20 mil tablespoons.



  1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat.  Add the chilli, rind and sugar and cook for one minute.
  2. Add the chicken and cook until done to your liking then set aside.The first time I made this recipe, I followed the above instructions but found the sugar burnt.  This time, I put the chilli and rind in first then added the chicken.  When the chicken was nearly done, I added the sugar and a tablespoon of water.  This worked perfectly.  It made a lovely, sticky coating to the chicken without burning the sugar.Alternatively, you could easily fry the chicken until nearly done then add about ¼ cup sweet chilli sauce and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked and coated in the sauce.


Blanch the beans for 2-3 minutes then refresh in cold water.


Put all the ingredients into a screw-topped jar and shake to combine.

To serve:

Place the spinach leaves on the plates, then add the snake beans.  Top with the chicken and spoon the dressing over the salad.


15 thoughts on “Chilli chicken with snake bean salad and a chilli coconut milk dressing

  1. Snake beans? I’ve never heard of them but I’m sure I’d like them. I’ve yet to find a green bean that I didn’t like. I’ve still got a couple bags of blanched & chopped pole beans in my freezer from late last summer. I should use your dressing on them. Yum!

    • Hi John, I didn’t know what a pole bean was so I looked it up. We call them runner beans 🙂 BTW Maus’ sister is in South Carolina at the moment. I ordered your book and had it delivered to her. She is coming home soon so I will soon get my book. I look forward to it.

      • Thanks, Glenda, for purchasing our cookbook. I hope you’ll enjoy it. With the cost involved to post it overseas, you probably could have bought it a seat on Maus’ sister’s plane for less money — and gotten frequent flyer miles. 🙂

  2. I love all sorts of beans but particularly snake beans, especially fresh as they are still tender! your dishes look hearty and homely Glenda!

  3. The dressing sounds like you could use it for a dip too. One of our favourite dishes when we eat at our local Sichuan restaurant is snake beans with pork mince and chillies. I think they must twice cook the beans because they are slightly charred. It’s delicious if you’re looking for another snake bean recipe.

  4. I’ll keep that dressing in mind- it sounds perfect for so many things. Sounds like the snake beans were a success. Did they grow as easily as any other variety? I bought a packet this year but didn’t plant any. In fact, this year is the year of the bean disaster due to our awful December weather.

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