Vietnamese Chicken Salad
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • Dressing
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Thai chile, seeded and minced
  • Chicken Salad
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 (3-inch) piece of ginger, smashed
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ large head green cabbage, cored and sliced into ¼-inch strips
  • 2 cups rice vermicelli noodles, cooked*
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  1. To make the dressing, combine the fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and water in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the garlic and chile and whisk to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Fill a large saucepan with water and salt as you would with pasta water. Add the ginger, garlic, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the chicken and poach for 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the water and allow the chicken to cool. Once cool enough to handle, shred the chicken.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the canola oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Once hot, add the shallots and fry until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the shallots with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. (You can reserve the shallot infused oil and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. It’s nice to use as a stir-fry oil or to make an aioli).
  4. Place the cabbage in a colander and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of salt. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then rinse very well with cold water. Taste the cabbage - to make sure you've removed all of the salt crystals (it will have a mildly salt taste, but it should not be overly so). Let the cabbage drain while you prep the other ingredients.
  5. In a large bowl add the cabbage, cilantro, vermicelli noodles, chicken, dressing, and toss well. Season with pepper to taste and lightly toss again. Divide equally among 4 bowls and garnish with the crispy shallots and chopped peanuts. Serve immediately and enjoy!
* To cook the vermicelli rice noodles, bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the noodles. Allow to soak for 5 minutes, until tender, then drain.
* Recipe adapted from Charles Phan, The Slanted Door
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