Vietnamese chicken salad with cabbage and fresh herbs

Ingredients:
chicken salad
  • Master stock
  • 250 milliliters Light soy sauce
  • 60 milliliters Dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Salt
  • 4 Cinnamon quills
  • 6 Star anise
  • 6 Green cardamom pods
  • 5 liters Water
  • The dressing
  • 60 milliliters Fish sauce
  • 60 milliliters Rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Garlic cloves, Finely chopped
  • 1 Red chilli, Finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Lime juice
  • 125 milliliters Water
  • Fried onions
    • 250 grams Small (cocktail) onions, Cut in half, then sliced thinly
    • 1 tablespoon Flour
    • 200 milliliters Oil
  • Fried garlic
  • 7 Garlic cloves, Sliced finely
  • 250 milliliters Oil
  • The salad
  • 800 grams Chicken (breasts and or thighs), Skin and bones removed
  • 150 grams Chinese white cabbage, Thinly sliced
  • ½ Red onion (small), Thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Mint leaves, Shredded
  • 2 tablespoons Roasted peanuts (unsalted), Roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Fried onion
  • 2 Red chillies, Thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Basil leaves, Shredded
  • 2 tablespoons Corriander leaves, Shredded

chicken salad

 Method:

  1. To make the master stock: Combine the water, soy sauces and salt in a large pot, and bring to the boil. Add the cinnamon, star anise and cardamom. Turn down the heat and allow the stock to simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes. After that, take the stock off the heat, strain and set aside to cool.
  2. To cook the chicken: Over high heat, bring the master stock to the boil. Add the chicken and bring the stock back up to the boil. Cover the pot with a lid and remove the from the heat. Allow the chicken to poach in the residual heat of the master stock for about 45 minutes to one hour. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken meat in a large bowl and allow to cool completely.
  3. To make the dressing: Add the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and water in a pan over medium heat and stir. Heat the mixture to just below boiling point, then remove from heat and set aside to cool. Add garlic, chilli and lime juice, and stir to ensure the dressing is well mixed.
  4. To make the fried garlic: Heat the oil in a pot or wok until very hot. Add the sliced garlic and cook for about 45 seconds to a minute. The garlic should be light golden brown but not burned. Remove garlic and drain on kitchen paper. Keep the oil and let it cool completely. Set aside.
  5. To make the fried onions: Heat the oil to very high heat in a pot or wok. Sprinkle the flour over the sliced onions and rub in making sure all the onions are covered in flour. Once the oil is very hot, add the onions and fry until golden brown, whilst stirring all the time. The onions should be crispy but not too dark or else they will be bitter. Once cooked, remove the onions and set aside. Keep the oil and let it cool completely.
  6. To assemble the salad: Add the chicken, sliced red onion, herbs and cabbage to a salad platter and mix. Dress the salad with a tablespoon of garlic oil and a tablespoon of onion oil and add some of the fish sauce dressing to taste. Toss the dressed salad. Finally, sprinkle chopped peanuts, fried garlic and fried onions over the top, and serve with extra dressing on the side.
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