I made a Vietnamese-style chicken salad for dinner last night in an effort to please everyone at the table. Every night this week, someone has complained about the meal I’ve served. So, I placed all the ingredients on the table for people to help themselves, with the chilli and herbs on the side, and included tomatoes big and small. The fussiest eater said, “Mum, this is actually quite good!” And then he helped himself to seconds!
Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients, or the specific quantities. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Cabbage is great as it lasts in the fridge crisper for quite a while (mine was 2 weeks old). Other vegetables to add are snowpeas, sugar snap peas, bean sprouts, spring onions and radishes. You can poach the chicken breasts yourself, or simply use leftover roast or barbeque chicken. Or, use tofu for a vegetarian version.
Samin Nosrat has written a masterpiece of a book, titled ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat,’ https://www.saltfatacidheat.com in which she teaches her readers how to master these four elements of cooking. Reading her book has transformed the way that I cook, using intuition and taste, rather than blindly following a recipe. The salad dressing combines Samin’s four essential elements: the salt from the fish sauce, the fat from the sesame oil, the acid from the lime juice and the heat from the chilli. Together, they provide a wonderful taste sensation when poured over otherwise bland poached chicken and an assortment of raw vegetables. It’s essential to include the aromatic mint and and coriander leaves and the crunchy fried shallots and peanuts. I think this Vietnamese-style chicken salad will become a family favourite over the summer!
If you’re looking for another quick salad, you might like to try this recipe from my first blog post: https://atamandastable.com.au/watermelon-and-t…os-feta-and-mint/
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Vietnamese-Style Chicken Salad
- 2 chicken breasts, poached, roasted or barbequed
- 1 270 g packet noodles (I used udon noodles)
- 1/8 cabbage
- 1 lebanese cucumber
- 1 carrot
- 1 red capsicum
- 1 cob cooked corn kernels substitute with tinned corn
- 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 handful coriander leaves
- 1 handful mint leaves
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 1/2 cup fried shallots
- 2 tbsp dried chilli flakes, or a small fresh chilli, seeded and chopped
- 1 lime, segmented, to serve
- 1/4 cup lime juice (about 1 1/2 limes)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Shred the cooked chicken and put into a bowl.
- Cook the noodles according the instructions on the packet, rinse in cold water, set aside in a bowl until ready to use.
- Thinly slice all of the vegetables and place in another bowl.
- Place the herbs and lime segments in separate bowls, as well as the peanuts, dried shallots and chilli flakes.
- Serve all the components of the salad in their bowls immediately with the dressing on the side, ready for people to help themsleves.
- Whisk all the ingredients together, and store in the fridge until ready to serve.