Vietnamese-themed rice noodle and chicken salad

This is a lovely cold salad, perfect for dinner on a hot summer day. Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe.

2 chicken breasts with skin and bones (technically half breasts, but you know what I mean)
8 oz thin rice noodles (see note)
1 jalapeno chili, red or green
2 large shallots
2 cloves garlic
1/3c fresh lime juice
1/3c Vietnamese fish sauce
2 TB brown sugar
5 baby white turnips (golf ball size or smaller)
5 red radishes
2c basil, Thai basil preferred but “Italian” basil works well also

Note: The rice noodles can be vermicelli or “rice stick” as long as they are thin, no thicker than thin spaghetti.

Preparation:

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper and either bake at 400 degrees or grill until done. Do not overcook or it will be dry. When cool enough to handle, shred the meat and discard the skin and bones (or save for stock). Set aside, can be done the day ahead.

Peel the shallots and cut into thin rings; separate into individual rings and saute in a bit of oil until browned and crisp. Drain on a paper towel and reserve.

Cover the rice noodles with boiling water and soak for 10-20 minutes. You want them soft but not mushy, and the time will depend on the specific noodles you are using. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Remove the stem from the jalapeno and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and pith for a milder salad, leave them in if you like a bit of heat. Cut into thin half-rounds.

Combine the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar, stir to dissolve (warm a tiny bit in the microwave if needed, should not ever get hot). Add the sliced peppers, the garlic (put thru a press), and set aside. This is the dressing.

Wash, then trim the stems and roots from the radishes and turnips (but do not peel). Cut into very thin slices. Set aside.

Coarsely chop the basil leaves, discarding the stems.

Assembly:

Set aside the fried shallots and half of the basil. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Can be done a few hours ahead. If refrigerated, take out a while before serving to get the chill off.

Serving:

Top with the shallots and remaining basil.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ethnic, Poultry, Salads

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