This is the last of the recipes from Vietnam and I've decided to make a Vietnamese chicken salad.
It was almost a disaster as a key ingredient for this dish is fish sauce and Asda decided to substitute Sweet Chilli sauce instead. Luckily the local Sainsburys had some. It's been really hard these last few months to get a lot of ingredients, it's been a low key stress for me deciding to make a food for my blog and then hoping they have what I need in stock. I definitely used to take this for granted pre-Covid outbreak.
But I know we're lucky that we have enough food for what we need with a lot more people turning to food banks this year than ever before.
Brace yourself for a lot of grating and chopping, here we go!
- 500g chicken breasts
- 1 green spring cabbage
- 250g large carrots
- 100g fresh beansprouts
- 75g radishes
- Large bunch fresh mint leaves
- Large bunch fresh coriander leaves
- 75g unsalted roasted peanuts
For the dressing
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2½ tsp caster sugar
- 4-5 tbsp lime juice
- 4 tbsp Thai fish sauce
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 1 red chilli
I've started using chicken thighs in a lot of recipes, especially when it's shredded like in this dish. They're cheaper and there isn't a lot of difference once they've been slow cooked and shredded up. I love how bright and colourful the radishes are even though they're not the white radishes Vietnamese people would use.
I use a slow cooker to cook the chicken but you could use a pan of boiling water too. Whichever way you cook it, let it cool a bit and then shred. I always use two forks to shred meat but if JD's around he'll do it for me using the shredding claws I got him for Christmas last year.
Keep the chicken warm while you prepare the other ingredients.
Remove the cabbage leaves and roll them up and slice thinly. Place in a bowl.
Rinse the beansprouts and add to the bowl. Grate the carrots and add those too.
I used the slice section of my grater to quickly slice up the radishes. Dangerous for the finger ends, be careful!! Rip up the herbs and add everything to the bowl. At this stage I added the chicken too and gave everything a good tossing (Not something you get to say often).
Combine all the dressing ingredients to make the dressing (obviously!) making sure to chop the chili as finely as you can. Drizzle over the salad and serve with the peanuts on top.
Wow, this salad certainly had a crunch to it. It was one of those salads where your jaw aches a bit from chewing when you're done. It was tasty with the addition of mint and coriander alongside the fresh vegetables. Fish sauce is one of those ingredients that smells terrible but once you have a few bites of this salad the umami flavour becomes addictive making you want to keep eating. The peanuts add another dimension of crunch texture too which goes well with the soft shredded chicken. Overall, very nice and quite simple to prepare!