09 August 2015

(Serves 8)

Want to give your oven a break this hot summer? Looking for a tasty, healthy and filling meal? Then look no further, the Vietnamese chicken salad is the way to go. Green leafy veggies, check. Lean protein, check. Flavor galore, check! I don’t know what else you would need…

Like all salads, it is easy for you to omit whatever ingredient you don’t like and increase the amount of the ones you do enjoy. However, the only thing I can say about this salad is DO NOT skimp on the herbs, they just bring the salad to life! But if you do have trouble finding all the herbs then it’s ok to make do with what you can find. The Vietnamese coriander is what gives this dish it’s unique flavor profile so if you can, make sure to use it in your salad. Then again, this is just my opinion.

As with a lot of Vietnamese dishes, the dipping sauce or dressing is key to making or breaking a dish. A perfectly cooked meal can be ruined with a poorly prepared dipping sauce or paired with an inappropriate dipping sauce. Not to fret, the ingredients are usually quite simple and preparation easy. The dressing for this salad, and I use the term dressing loosely because you can use this Lime Fish Sauce “Dressing” as a dipping sauce in an array of other recipes. The spicey level can be easily adjusted to your comfort. Use fewer chilies if you prefer less of a kick. It is important to use freshly squeezed lime juice instead of the bottled kind as I personally find that the preservatives give a strange aftertaste that will alter the flavor profile of the dressing.  

8 cups of water

1. Put all ingredients in a pot ensuring that the chicken has enough water to be completely submerge and bring to a low boil for about 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

2. Remove the chicken and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

3. Once the chicken is cool, remove from the ice bath, pat dry, shred the chicken and set aside.

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/4 fish sauce

2 1/2 lbs chicken breast or thighs (skin on or off)

3 1/4 lbs cabbage, shredded (1 large cabbage, green or savoy)

4. In a large mixing bowl sprinkle salt on cabbage and toss to mix well.

5. Add in the vinegar and toss again.

6. Set aside for at least 30 minutes then rinse with water in a colander and let drain.

3 tbsps salt

1/3 cup vinegar

5 oz red onion thinly sliced (1/2 a medium onion)

7. In a small bowl, mix the onion with vinegar and set aside for 10 minutes then drain the vinegar.

1/2 cup vinegar

1 1/2 oz Vietnamese coriander

8. Chop herbs into large pieces to release aromatics.

2 1/2 oz Thai basil

2 1/2 oz mint

1 oz peppermint

1/2 lb carrots, cut into matchsticks

9. Mix cabbage, carrots, herbs, onions and chicken together.

2 1/2 - 3 cups lime fish sauce dressing (see below)

10. Drizzle over salad and lightly toss to incorporate.

Chopped peanuts

11. Top with chopped peanuts and serve immediately

Lime Fish Sauce Dressing (makes 3 cups)

1 cup simple syrup

1. Mix together well. (Keeps in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.)

1/2 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup water

2 cup fresh lime juice

3 tbsps garlic, minced

2-4 thai chili, minced

1/2 jalapeño, minced

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