Vietnamese Chicken Salad

This is a really easy Asian salad recipe that involves no cooking, apart from poaching a chicken breast and that’s hardly taxing! It’s great to have if you feel you’ve been overdoing rich and heavy foods as it is light, fresh and healthy.

The dressing is oh so virtuous as it involves no oil and you can leave out the peanuts if you’re being really strict with yourself. Leftover roast chicken or turkey can be used instead of poaching a chicken breast for an even easier meal. Try it…you won’t be disappointed.

Serves
2

Cooking time
30 mins

Ingredients
1 large chicken breast
1 red chilli, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp water
Half a red onion, finely sliced
Black pepper
200g white cabbage, shredded
1 medium carrot, grated
2 sticks of celery, thinly sliced
Fresh mint, chopped
50g unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)

If you’re not lucky enough to have leftovers, poach the chicken breast in some simmering salted water until just cooked (about 10 minutes or so depending on the size). Allow to cool slightly in the water before removing. Set aside.

In a jar, put the chilli, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, garlic and water. Put the lid on and shake well to combine.

Taste and check the seasoning – it should be sweet, salty, spicy and sour. Put the sliced onion in a small bowl, pour over the dressing and set aside for about 30 minutes to allow the flavours to mellow and develop.

When ready to serve, scatter the cabbage, celery, carrot and mint over a large serving plate.

Shred the chicken and add it to the vegetables. Next, pour over the onion and dressing and toss everything together.

Grind over some black pepper and sprinkle on the peanuts if using.

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