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Chicken, Napa Cabbage & Snow Pea Grain Bowl with Coconut-Peanut Sauce

Servings: 4

This recipe, excerpted from Build-a-Bowl by Nicki Sizemore, is creamy, crunchy, sweet, salty, and spicy. In other words: it’s heavenly. The sauce, made with peanut butter and coconut milk, is the real star of the show. It instantly dresses up chicken (you can use leftover cooked chicken here) and is a fantastic dressing for noodle salads and Asian slaws.


For the coconut-peanut sauce

  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (well stirred)
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 tsp. sriracha
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the bowls

  • 1-1/2 cups snow peas
  • 1  heaping cup thinly sliced napa cabbage
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 cups cooked grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, or farro
  • 2 cups chopped or cubed cooked chicken or tofu

For the toppings

  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Chopped fresh mint
  • Chopped roasted peanuts
  •  Sriracha
  • Lime wedges


Make the sauce

  • Place the coconut milk, lime juice, tamari, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, sugar, and 1 tsp. of the sriracha in a blender. Season with salt and black pepper. Blend on high speed until smooth. Taste and season with additional sriracha, salt, black pepper, and/or lime juice, as needed.

Build the bowls

  • Fill a saucepan with about 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer. Insert a steamer basket and add the snow peas. Cover and steam until bright green and tender crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Pat dry.
  • Toss the cabbage and bell pepper with the lime juice and oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Spoon the grains into bowls. Arrange the snow peas, cabbage slaw, and chicken over the top. Drizzle with the coconut-peanut sauce and sprinkle with the cilantro, mint, and peanuts. Serve with sriracha, lime wedges, and additional sauce for drizzling.

Excerpted from Build-a-Bowl by © Nicki Sizemore. Photography by © Katrin Björk. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.


The sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance. Bring it to room temperature before serving. If needed, thin it with a drizzle of water.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • Azusa | 04/04/2021

    Tasty with brown rice and poached chicken breast! The sauce is delicious, although it does dominate everything else. If I make again, I might add some scallion.

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