Vietnamese Chicken Salad September 03 2017

 

Ingredients

  • Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Toasted Rice Crackers Kit
  • 1/4 head of white cabbage
  • 1/2 bunch Vietnamese mint (Vietnamese mint is preferable. If sourcing is difficult you can substitute it with Thai basil or normal mint)
  • 5 - 7 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tbsp salt
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vingear
  • Roasted peanuts, crushed (optional)
  • Traditionally Roasted Salad Seeds (optional)


Poached chicken

  • 2 pieces of merryland chicken
  • 2 peeled shallots
  • ½  tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar


Vietnamese dressing (Nuoc cham)

  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 lemon or lime, juiced
  • 2 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 - 4 chillies, roughly minced (Deseed if you cannot take the heat)

 

Method

  • Poach chicken (see method below).
  • Wash and shave cabbage using a madeleine or food processor. Allow to sit and drain well.  Cabbage needs to be thoroughly dry.
  • Wash Vietnamese mint and set aside to dry. Tear or roughly chop up the herb.
  • To pickle shallots, add 1/4 tablespoon of salt and coat the shallots in the salt. Rinse off salt.
  • Warm up the white vinegar and dissolve the sugar to make the pickling liquid. Reserve & set aside 1/2 the pickling liquid for the cabbage later.  Add the sliced shallots into the pickling liquid and allow the shallots to infuse.
  • To make the dressing (nuoc cham), warm up the fish sauce, add in sugar and dissolve.
  • Mix chillies and garlic into a separate bowl and add in the lemon juice. Combine it with the fish sauce and sugar mixture. This will make the chillies and garlic float on top of the fish sauce. Set aside.
  • Heat up the rice crackers.  Do a test piece first to gauge the cooking time on the crackers. Set aside to cool and crisp up.
  • The chicken should now be cool enough to shred. Tear into pieces and set aside.
  • For the cabbage slaw, mix Vietnamese mint, shallots with the pickling liquid to the cabbage.  Add the reserve vinegar liquid and combine all the ingredients well. Pour out the liquid.
  • Add in the shredded chicken and combine well.
  • Plate up, add generous handful of crispy shallots for a crunchy topping.
  • Drizzle the nuoc cham over the salad. This will add a saltiness to the dish.
  • Serve the left-over fish sauce on the side. The fish sauce can be added to suit your taste.
  • Serve the dish with extra wedges of lemon if you like your salad to be punchy.
  • Heap the salad onto a rice cracker.  Enjoy!
  • Traditionally, roasted peanuts can also be added on top. Try adding Traditionally Roasted Salad Seeds instead of roasted peanuts for a healthier option.

 

How to poach a chicken

  • Bring a pot of water to boil. (Have enough water to thoroughly cover the chicken.)
  • Season the water with shallots, salt and sugar.
  • Rinse the raw merrylands before placing in pot of boiling water. Allow the merrylands to cook on simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and allow the chicken to sit and cook the reserve heat for another 10 minutes.
  • Take the chicken out of the pot and allow to cool.


Notes

  • Skim any scum from the broth. Freeze it to use later as stock.
  • The broth is lightly flavoured enough to make it versatile for use in other dishes.
  • Use the current broth as the base. Inject more flavour into the broth by adding more vegetables or more chicken bones and boil/simmer again to create a rich bone broth soup.