Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Vietnamese food is one of my all time favorite ethnic cuisines. I know that sounds like a bold statement, but I have never met a Vietnamese dish I didn't absolutely love. There is a certain lightness to Vietnamese dishes that, combined with intense flavors, makes for a tasty and guiltless meal. One signature dish that most people are familiary with is pho (pronounced fuh), which is a salty beef noodle soup. I love me some pho but I am really partial to this delicious cabbage salad, called goi ga. It combines lots of crunchy veggies with chicken and a salty, spicy dressing.

You can use plain boiled or grilled chicken for this salad, but I decided to dress it up a bit. I marinated some boneless, skinless chicken breast in a lemongrass marinade. The result was an intense flavor that added a lot to the simple salad. I made another recipe with the leftover chicken that I'll put up later this week.

In other news, we finally planted our garden this week after weeks of sprouting our plants. Right now I have planted tomatoes, basil, butternut squash, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and watermelon. I've also got three different varieties of chili peppers and basil. It was a lot of work getting everything prepared and organized, but I am so thrilled with the result.

Have you entered my Cast Iron Skillet Giveaway? It ends on Friday at 5pm!

Full recipe after the jump!

Lemongrass Marinated Chicken:
1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 stalk of lemongrass (about 4-5" long)
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon (approx 1 tbsp)
4 cloves of garlic
1 Serrano chili - seeded
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, washed
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

Instructions: Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in food processor and puree. Marinate chicken breasts in mixture for at least 3 hours and then grill or bake.

Vietnamese Dressing:
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp brown sugar

Instructions:  Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl and chill until serving time.

1 medium head of green cabbage, sliced or shredded
4 medium carrots, julienne or shredded
1 cup of snow peas, washed and sliced
2 cups of bean sprouts
2 green onions, washed and sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped or crushed

In a large mixing bowl, combine all salad ingredients (except peanuts) and toss thoroughly with dressing to combine. Plate 1/4 of the salad mixture on each plate, top with 4oz of chicken and sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped peanuts. Serve!

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At May 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM , Blogger D B said...

Looks refreshing!

At May 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE Vietnamese flavors - they're so light and refreshing. This looks great!

At May 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM , Blogger Kim Bee said...

Oh my gosh Dara, this is amazing. It looks positively inviting.

At May 23, 2012 at 4:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dressing does sound delicious in this salad.

At May 23, 2012 at 7:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

ummmmmm yeah. can i eat this now please?

At May 23, 2012 at 3:20 PM , Blogger CJ - Food Stories said...

I've never had pho or goi ga ... Looks like I've got to get with the foodie program :-)

At May 24, 2012 at 3:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beauty of a salad - lovely job my friend :D

Choc Chip Uru

At May 24, 2012 at 9:02 AM , Blogger Dawnye7 said...

Crunchy cabbage? Lemongrass & Serrano Pepper? This is an amazing combination and we're definitely eating this one. Thanks.

At May 24, 2012 at 11:02 AM , Blogger Baker Street said...

The dressing sounds perfect. Can't wait to give this one a try! :)

At May 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM , Blogger gastronomic nomad said...

It looks so authentic! I just finished a bun noodle dish that was leftover from yesterday's lunch and I have to admit, it was the envy of the office. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

At May 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM , Blogger Jenn Kendall said...

that salad dressing sounds so delicious! and i actually have everything on hand to make it...can't wait to try the salad this weekend!

At May 24, 2012 at 4:19 PM , Blogger Tina Bk said...

Between the lemongrass marinade and the sesame plus chili oil in the dressing-this looks to be a tasty winner. Also, tis the season for cold salads-well done!

At May 24, 2012 at 8:04 PM , Blogger Kevin said...

You have some really nice flavours going on in this salad!

At May 25, 2012 at 2:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow this dish looks great! Glad I stopped by!


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Hello! Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. It means so much to me. Please let me know if you have questions about any of my recipes or if I forgot a step. Also, is there something you would like me to cook or a recipe to makeover? Let me know!

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