Vietnamese Chicken Salad
Susan Sugarman, senior food editor of Martha Stewart Living, likes to prepare a simple Vietnamese chicken salad using savoy or Chinese cabbage and thinly sliced poached chicken. The salad's distinctive flavor comes from a combination of mint, cilantro, Vietnamese fish sauce, and roasted peanuts.
- 1 skinless and boneless chicken breast
- 3/4 teaspoon chile paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla)
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 6 cups (12 ounces) savoy cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, julienned
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, julienned, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 fresh red or green small hot chile pepper
- 1/2 seedless cucumber, julienned
- 2 large carrots, peeled, julienned
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped peanuts, roasted
Bring a stockpot of water to a simmer. Add chicken to simmering water, and poach until the meat is firm and the juices run clear when pierced with a two-pronged fork, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove chicken from the water, and thinly slice it lengthwise. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together chile paste, garlic, sugar, rice-wine vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, and peanut oil until well combined. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss together cabbage, mint, and cilantro, and place on a large platter. Top the cabbage mixture with the onion, pepper, cucumber, carrots, bell pepper, and chicken. Drizzle with the reserved dressing, garnish with peanuts and cilantro sprigs, and serve.