Monday, 2 January 2012

Vietnamese chicken salad

We took our Christmas tree down today so, the festive period is now officially over.  It is now we all start to feel the effects of our over indulgence and we want to start eating healthy food. For the next month I will be concentrating on healthy recipes that are not just good for you but taste and look great too.
I will start with this recipe for Vietnamese chicken salad.  It looks great and is really healthy but it just tastes amazing. I know its cold outside and salads are for summer but just give this a try as the ginger and chillies will heat you up inside.
I hope you all have a wonderful 2012 and keep coming back to my wee blog as I've got some great plans for it this year including video's of me in the kitchen cooking some of the recipes. Until then  enjoy your Vietnamese chicken salad.

Prep time: 20 min, plus cooling and marinating. Cook time: 5 min. Serves: 4.


Mooli and carrot salad
  • 230 g carrots
  • 230 g daikon radish ( or just good old UK radish if you cant find daikon)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 60 ml rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
For the ginger sauce
  • 10 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 Thai red chillies, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • Pinch sugar
For the salad
  • 1 small cooked chicken breast
  • 1 large handful of fresh mixed herbs ( coriander , basil or Thai basil, lemongrass & mint leaves)
  • 40 g celery, finely shredded
  • 190 g white cabbage, finely shredded
  • 20 g red onions, finely shredded
  • 30 g red peppers, finely shredded
  • 30 g yellow peppers, finely shredded
To garnish
  • 2 tbsp fried garlic
  • 2 tbsp fried shallots


1. For the mooli and carrot salad: Place the rice vinegar, sugar and 330ml water into a pan and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils allow to cool to room temperature.

2. Julienne the carrot and the mooli to matchstick thickness. Place together in a sieve and mix.

3. Sprinkle with salt and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes. This will draw some of the liquid out of the vegetables. Place the sieve over a bowl to catch and drips.

4. Rinse the vegetables under cold water to remove the salt and squeeze dry in a clean towel.

5. Place in a clean bowl and pour over the vinegar solution and allow to stand for at least one hour before serving.

6. To serve remove the pickled vegetables from the vinegar. Any extra can be left in the liquid and stored in a sealed container in the fridge for around 3 days.

7. For the dressing: blend the ginger, chilli and garlic together. Add the fish sauce and vinegar a little at a time to make a fairly thick paste. Season with a little salt and sugar.

8. For the salad: mix the chicken and herbs with a little of the ginger dressing. Strain the carrot and mooli pickle and add this along with the celery, cabbage, red onion and peppers. Turn about 3 times with a large spoon to coat all the ingredients in dressing. Do not over turn the salad.

9. Serve immediately with the rest of the ginger dressing on the side and the fried garlic and shallot on top.


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