Tuesday, October 12, 2010

dinner date - Vietnamese chicken salad

Ok so sadly this post is coming to you from Christchurch not Vietnam...however the fresh flavours of this salad are perfect for spring when you are over casseroles and other rib-sticking dinners. The recipe is a bit vague, just make it up as you go along, depending on what you have in the fridge and how many you have to feed. I think one chicken thigh per person is plenty but suit yourself.

The dressing is fantastic, make a jar up at a time, it will keep forever in the fridge, and just needs to be diluted to serve. Use it as a dipping sauce with fresh spring rolls too.

The crispy fried shallots can be bought at Asian supermarkets, they are cheap as and addictive. Possibly not very PC (hmmm not really loving that palm oil...) but so tasty, adding a sweet crunch to this salad. This salad is all about texture so the crunchy mung bean sprouts, nuts and shallots are essential!

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

chicken thighs
vermicelli noodles
mung bean sprouts
cucumber, deseeded and julienned
red pepper
fresh mint and coriander
peanuts, roasted and chopped
crispy fried shallots


1-2 red chillis, finely chopped
1 tbsp white or wine vinegar
1/2 c fish sauce
1/4 c fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c sugar

Poach the chicken thighs by placing in a roasting dish, covering with water and baking at 180c for about twenty minutes or until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Cool and shred.

Blend all dressing ingredients in bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Store in a jar in the fridge. Dilute with one part dressing to one part water before serving.

Toss chicken through the cooked noodles with the prepped veges of your choice. If I use carrots and red peppers I blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds or so just to make them a bit easier to eat. Toss through with dressing to taste.

Serve bowls of fresh mint, chopped peanuts, crispy shallots and extra dressing on the table for people to add as they like.

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