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Vietnamese Chicken Salad

(Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish)

Special note:  You need to taste and adjust this salad before serving.  Some like it spicier, some like it sweeter or saltier and some like it with more sour flavor from the limes.  Don’t add salt at first since the fish sauce is salty.  Remember that adding the peanuts (and you need lots) adds to the flavor so when you taste it, try it with the peanuts and basil and mint. 

 

For salad:

·         1 ½ -2-pound  green cabbage, shredded, but not too finely:  I don’t use the mandoline

·         2  carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips

·         ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

 

Optional:   ¼ cup dried shrimp from Asian market boiled for 5 minutes in water and then drained and chopped.  It adds a very fishy shrimp flavor that is very authentic but not to everyone’s taste.
For dressing :

·         1/3 cup Asian fish sauce  (Nuoc Mam)

·         2 teaspoons  cup brown sugar

·         1 teaspoon (or to taste)  Thai or Vietnamese chili garlic sauce

·         2 teaspoon finely chopped peeled ginger

·         1 tablespoon  garlic clove, finely chopped

·         ¼ cup fresh lime juice from 2-3 limes

·         1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger

 

·         For  topping:

·         2/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts

·         1/2 cup packed torn basil leaves

·         1/2 cup packed torn mint (optional)

·         ½  cup bean sprouts

·         ½ -1 cup  leftover boned  shredded, cooked chicken (optional)

 

1.    Combine salad ingredients

2.    Make dressing by combining ingredients by hand or in a blender

3.    Toss salad: Mix dressing with cabbage and carrots and shrimp

4.    Assemble salad: .Arrange chicken and bean sprouts over tossed salad and sprinkle with peanuts, basil, and mint. Serve at room temperature or chilled. You can pass around extra peanuts and lime juice for people to add to their salads.