Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vietnamese Chicken and Mint Salad

Vietnamese Chicken and Mint Salad
Home Cooking

It's rare for me to repeat a recipe, even one that's good, because I'm constantly needing new material for this blog. I've made Nigella Lawson's Vietnamese chicken salad before but on that occasion, it was devoured before I got any good photos.

I needed to come up with some salads for Australia Day and I remembered that this one works. It's easy to do and it's light and fresh for Summer but with a bit of a kick (Vietnamese cuisine = chili).

The ingredients are extremely easy to obtain. Forget roasting your own chicken (unless you reaaaaally want to); I bought a roast chook from Coles and it was fine.

The quantities aren't that critical either. I sorta just threw together what I had based on instinct and ended up with too little dressing. No problemo - I just made up some more.

Vietnamese Chicken and Mint Salad
Serves 4-6 as a side

  • 1/2 a head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 barbeque chicken, meat removed from bone and shredded
  • 1 bunch of mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
For the dressing
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 small red chilies, sliced

1. Make the dressing by mixing everything together.2. I like to soak the onion slices in the dressing until I need it.
3. When you're ready to serve, toss together the cabbage, carrot, chicken and mint.
4. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat evenly. Serve!

I think this is a fabulous salad. It's light and simple enough to be a side or, if you have enough chicken, substantial enough to be a main. There's a coleslaw element to it (I think it's the cabbage and carrot) but the dressing is sweet and tangy, rather than creamy.

If you are new to Asian flavors, you might want to reduce the amount of fresh chili but I personally think the dressing is mild enough to suit everyone.

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