Today is officially the first day of summer here in the southern hemisphere. Salads are a big part of my cooking repertoire in summer and I thought I should focus on some of my all time favourite salads to share over the next few posts.
This Vietnamese Chicken Salad isn’t a spicy salad but finely sliced chilli could be added to the salad or the dressing if you wanted a chilli hit. However the flavours from the salty, sweet, sour dressing and the coriander and mint is lively enough. The most satisfying part to this salad is the texture – lots of crunch.
If you want the salad to be a bit more substantial then toss through some cooked vermicelli noodles or even some jasmine rice. Depending on how much you add you may need to make a little extra dressing.
vietnamese chicken salad
2-3 chicken breasts
a small bunch of coriander
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 cups red cabbage, shredded
1 cup bean sprouts
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 small bunch of mint
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon crispy fried shallots
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
Roughly chop the root of the well washed coriander and place in a big pot. Set aside the leaves. Add the chopped onion to the coriander root and fill the pot with water – enough water to submerge the chicken breasts. Bring the water to the boil then add the chicken breast. When the water reaches the boil again turn the heat down to a simmer, pop a lid on and leave for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to sit, with lid on, for another 10 minutes.
In a large serving bowl or platter mix together the shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots and spring onions. Roughly chop the coriander and mint leaves and add.
In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar for the dressing.
Remove the rested chicken breasts from the poaching liquid. Shred the chicken meat and add to the salad. Pour over the dressing and top everything together. Top with the crispy shallots and peanuts.