Jul 13, 2007

Vietnamese Style Chicken Salad

This salad is perfect as an appetizer or a light lunch.

1 piece (2 in.) fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound boned, skinned chicken breast
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nuoc nam or nam pla)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Asian red chili paste or dried hot chile flakes
6 cups very finely shredded cabbage
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups water chestnuts, chopped
1 cup shredded English cucumber
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 quarts water, ginger, and salt to a simmer. Add chicken and half of the garlic. Adjust heat to maintain simmer, and cook until chicken is slightly pink in the center (cut to test) about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes, then lift chicken from water. When cool enough to handle, shred or slice into bite-size pieces.

In a large bowl, mix lemon juice, honey, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, and chili paste. Add cabbage, carrots, water chestnuts, cucumber, green onions, celery, cilantro, mint, and chicken; mix well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

4 to 6 servings

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