Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad

Did I ever tell you the story of when my dog, Salem, got into my lazy susan?  I probably left the lazy susan cupboard open (where I keep my unrefrigerated condiments, and canned food, etc), when in a rush to get out the door or something.  But when I came home later on, I was greeted by a strange pungent smell...FISH SAUCE!!  Salem had managed to carry off a small (thank goodness!) bottle of fish sauce, take it to her bed (thank goodness not MY bed!), and have herself a little feast!  Her dog bed was of course a write off, which was too bad, as it was on of those nice large ones from Costco with the wood chips.  But I managed to salvage the removable cover of the bed, and wash it about a million times to get rid of the smell.  And there was no damage to the laminate flooring, as the fish sauce had soaked through her bed and puddled on the floor.  It was just that fishy smell that lingered for a few days.  And now whenever I use fish sauce, the scent takes me back to that day!  Oh, the memories!

But this Vietnamese shredded chicken salad is great for a use of leftover chicken, or for putting a rotisserie chicken to a new use!  This recipe is also great for all those busy school nights, and extra curricular activities that are back with a vengeance!  If you have the dressing made ahead, it takes nothing to throw together all the salad ingredients, serve it up with a fresh french baguette, and you're good to go!

I had a savoy cabbage to be used up, but the original recipe called for a napa cabbage, I wondered what the difference would be for which cabbage I used, and found this great article via the Kitchn - a never ending source of knowledge - check them out!

Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad
Recipe adapted from: Saveur

1-2 red chiles (Thai or serrano), seeded & minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon  rice wine vinegar
3 Tablespoon  fresh lime juice
3 Tablespoon  fish sauce 
3 Tablespoon  canola oil
1 green onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
4 cups shredded napa cabbage
2 medium carrots, matchsticked
½ cup roughly chopped cilantro and/or mint
Freshly ground black pepper

Seed red chiles, then mince. (It is always best to wear rubber gloves, or work through a plastic bag when working with chiles.) Place chiles in small Tupperware, bottle, or jar. Add to container garlic, sugar, rice wine vinegar, fresh lime juice, fish sauce, and oil.  Place lid on container of choice, and shake until sugar dissolves.
In a large salad bowl, add together shredded chicken, shredded cabbage, carrots, onions, and fresh cilantro/mint. Season with freshly ground black pepper, toss ingredients to incorporate pepper, and then pour dressing over whole thing, or serve in individual bowls and add dressing separately, this will leave you with fresh and still crunchy leftovers!  Serve with a fresh french baguette for all the gluten lovers out there!


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