I need to emphatically declare that there is nothing more refreshing on a sweltering hot day than this salad. Nor anything tastier or better for you. I always alter my recipe slightly from Nigella's in that I use 2 Lebanese cucumbers in place of the white cabbage and I used 1 monster sized carrot. Cucumber, of course is known for being cooling and I feel this adds substantially to the recipe's heat-beating properties. You can make this a few hours ahead and store in the fridge where it will be just perfect to eat when you are hungry.
I always double the quantities for the sauce and omit the oil. I don't feel like the taste suffers one jot without it but more of this perfectly balanced sauce can only be a good thing.
Vietnamese chicken and mint salad
For the dressing (this is for double the amount of dressing than what Nigella suggests)
- 1-2 chili, preferably a bird's eye chili, seeded and chopped finely
- 2 fat garlic gloves peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
For the Salad
- 1 medium onion finely sliced
- 2 medium sized Lebanese cucumbers shredded grated
- 1 large carrot grated
- 200g cooked chicken breast, shredded or cut into fine strips
- fat bunch of mint, about 40g stemmed weight
- black pepper
Step 1 - In a bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and put aside for half an hour, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Step 2 - In a big bowl, mix the salad ingredients. Pour over the chili flecked dressing and toss very well-so that everything is combined and covered. Taste to see whether you need salt or pepper. Serve on a flat plate with maybe a bit more mint chopped on top
Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a starter.
Recipe adapted from Nigella Bites by Nigella Lawson