With the return of warm weather, it’s quickly becoming salad season. This is a crunchy, tangy, and healthy salad. Salad.
Vietnamese Chicken Slaw
This will serve probably 3-4 people as a main dish, and more if serving as an appetizer or if those people are diminutive, children, or drug-addicted models.
- 1/2 a cooked chicken, shredded (I like to use more of the white meat)
- 1 head green cabbage
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped coarsely
- dozen or so leaves spearmint
- 6 or so purple perilla leaves
- 6 or so thai basil leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, forced through a garlic press
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Juice of one nice, large juicy lime (or two smaller limes)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 thai bird chilies, minced
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce or siracha
- Handful of roasted peanuts (no skins)
Dressing: whisk together all ingredients, and set aside to “steep”.
Crush the peanuts in a mortar with a pestle.
Chiffonade the cabbage. You can skip this step by buying those pre-cut coleslaw packages in the E. coli aisle of the produce section of your local mega-mart. There’s often carrots in the mix, too, so that will save you the step of shredding the carrots.
Get your herbs in order. What is perilla? It’s essentially shiso — a broad leafed member of the mint family. The versions utilized in Vietnamese cooking have a purple face. Chiffonade the perilla and mint, and along with cilantro, combine with the cabbage, carrots, and chicken in a large mixing bowl. Whisk dressing and pour over salad, and toss.
Garnish with peanuts.