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Friday, January 25, 2008

Salad 2.0

Here is another salad that I've got say is TDF. If you like thai flavors, you'll love this. I've had this recipe for a while but it just so happened that I found myself with a savoy cabbage and some leftover chicken. I was looking through my recipes for something to do with them and this looked like just the thing. Luckily I have a great market two blocks down so I could easily obtain mint and cilantro and the other veggies needed.

The Vietnamese Chicken Salad is traditionally served this way, as sort of a stunning composed salad. The dressed chicken goes in the center and you make neat piles of the different vegetables all around and garnish with peanuts and fresh herbs. You place the platter on the table and then toss everything together.

Dear husband was a little unsure of a cabbage salad for dinner but he came around. And that is because the dressing for this salad is so perfectly balanced. Sometimes with Thai and Vietnamese dishes, the fish sauce can be a little strong. Here it is aromatically present but not in your face. There's lime juice and chile paste with garlic, sugar and other flavors that balance it out beautifully. You could toss this with some lawn clippings and I would eat it. It is truly memorable.

*Originally posted by Mean Chef from the Cooks Talk forum

"Here is my version of a Vietnamese chicken salad. It is light, peppy and very refreshing. You can adjust quantities and types of vegetables as you like. Just keep the dressing, cabbage, cilantro and mint. "


Serving Size: 4

4 bone in chicken breast half breasts
1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Chili Garlic Sauce (or other chile paste)
1 clove garlic -- minced
3 tbsps sugar
2 tbsps rice-wine vinegar
6 tbsps freshly squeezed lime juice
4 tbsps fish sauce
6 tbsps peanut oil
1 large head savoy cabbage -- shredded or chiffonade
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves -- finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves -- finely chopped
1 small red onion -- thinly sliced lengthwise
1 small fresh red or green hot chile pepper -- diced
1/2 seedless cucumber -- julienned
2 large carrots -- julienned
1 red bell pepper -- julienned
1/2 c roughly chopped roasted peanuts

1. Salt, pepper and roast chicken breasts at 400 until done. Cool.

2. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together chile paste, garlic, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, and peanut oil until well combined. Set aside.

3. Remove chicken meat from bones and slice each breast thinly on the bias.

4. In a medium bowl, toss together cabbage, mint, and cilantro. Add 1/2 of the dressing and toss. Place on a large platter or 4 individual platters. Top cabbage mixture with onion, pepper, cucumber, carrots, bell pepper, and chicken. Drizzle with the reserved dressing, garnish with peanuts and cilantro sprigs, and serve.

In addition to the ingredients called for, I added some blanched and shocked snow pea pods that I julienned. (those are the dark green veg. in the picture) The only negative to this salad is the prep. There is quite a bit of julienne-ing. But hey! Look at it as an opportunity to hone your knife skills - pun intended.

You'll have leftover dressing. I've found a great thing to do with it is to toss it with broccoli slaw that can be bought in a package at a regular supermarket. This stuff is great. It has 25 calories per 3 oz. serving and tons of fiber. I like to use it to add to my regular salads, but if you toss it with this dressing and some cilantro you can make a simple, tasty salad in a flash. Here I used it as a side to an spicy orange salmon dish. I added some red pepper and garnished with peanuts.

Crispy Orange-glazed Salmon with vietnamese-flavored broccoli slaw.

The sweetness of orange juice tempers the heat of the chile pepper and red pepper flakes in this Thai-inspired dish, but it still has quite a kick. Prep: 15 minutes; Stand: 30 minutes; Cook: 9 minutes.

2/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lite soy sauce
1 small red Thai chile pepper, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
4 (4- to 6-ounce) salmon fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons honey
Hot cooked rice
Garnishes: sprouts, fresh cilantro, carrot and pepper strips, and edamame*

1. Stir together first 6 ingredients in a glass baking dish or shallow bowl. Add salmon, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, turning to coat evenly. Marinate at least 30 minutes. Remove salmon, reserving marinade, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook salmon 3 to 4 minutes per side or until fish begins to flake with fork; remove from pan. Pour reserved marinade into skillet, and add honey. Heat about 3 minutes or until syrupy. Serve salmon warm over a mound of rice, topped with sauce. Garnish, if desired.
*Edamame is available in the freezer section of most supermarkets.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Cottage Living, MARCH 2007


Lisa said...

A two-for-one here! I must try that chicken salad.

Toni said...

Lisa, you must. It is absolutely delicious. I will be making it frequently, especially through the summer. It is the best new thing I've tried in a while.

Proud Italian Cook said...

This is something I will defiately try, I'm always looking for new ways to make salmon, I love all those flavors and the broccoli slaw sounds fantastic to go with it. Nice combo!!!!! P. S I answered your question on my blog.

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Made by Lena