Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Best Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Fresh and fabulous

If you love the tangy lime dressing in Thai papaya salad, this recipe is for you. I adapted it from Nigella Lawson's Vietnamese Chicken Salad recipe, and it's a classic in my repertoire. Light, spicy and refreshing, it's a perfect meal in itself. You can either poach the chicken breast or use the white meat from a rotisserie chicken (great for leftover cold chicken). Definitely use breast meat only.

Mix dressing ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes:
1 jalapeno pepper (or Thai chili for more heat), seeded and minced
juice from 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 scallions, finely sliced

Allow dressing ingredients to meld flavors for 10 mins

1/2 cup cooked chicken breast meat - or about 1/2 of a breast - cubed or shredded
*1 cup shredded white cabbage
*1 cup shredded purple cabbage
*1/4 cup shredded carrots
handful chopped cilantro

* As a shortcut, you can also use bagged coleslaw mix, but it's best if it's thinly sliced. I buy mine from Essex Farm Fruits in the wonderful Essex St. Market in the Lower East Side.

Gently mix til thoroughly coated. Let sit 5 minutes to develop full flavor. Serves 1-2. Best if eaten immediately.

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