Saturday, October 20, 2007

Crunchy Vietnamese Chicken Salad

We made this salad from Food and Wine magazine's website last week using shredded grocery store rotisserie chicken, so it came together really quickly. I substituted romaine lettuce for nappa cabbage as I'm not a cabbage fan. I just loved it. Next time we make this, I'll probably buy rice paper rounds and turn the salad into sumer rolls. To prepare vegetarian, simply omit chicken and substitute fish sauce with soy sauce. It will still be delicious. Brandi if you're reading this, you would love this!


Chef Way The Banhs like to poach the chicken for this vibrant dish, then toss the salad with a homemade scallion oil.

Easy Way To save time, use store-bought rotisserie chicken and skip the scallion oil; the salad already gets plenty of flavor from the spicy, vinegary dressing and abundance of fresh herbs.

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 serrano chile with seeds, minced
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 4 cups finely shredded green cabbage (from 1/2 small head)
  • 2 carrots, finely shredded
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (from 1/2 chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
  1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, water, chile and garlic and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let the dressing stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the shallots on paper towels; reserve the oil for another use. Sprinkle the shallots with salt and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, carrots, red onion, cilantro, mint and shredded chicken. Add the olive oil and the dressing and toss. Sprinkle with the peanuts and fried shallots and serve the chicken salad with lime wedges.

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