This classic salad is seen at all celebrations, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying it on a weeknight. You can also use up leftovers from a roast chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken.
FOR THE SALAD
1.5kg whole corn-fed, free-range organic chicken
400g sugar snap peas, thinly sliced lengthways
10 radishes, thinly sliced
10 Vietnamese coriander sprigs, leaves picked and roughly snipped (see tip)
Small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
Seeds of 1⁄2 pomegranate (optional)
FOR THE DRESSING
5 tbsp crushed pistachios
3 bird’s eye chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tbsp maple syrup
5 tbsp lime juice (from 2-3 limes)
5 tbsp fish sauce
FOR THE SHALLOT PICKLE
4 round shallots, sliced as thinly as possible
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fill a saucepan with 3 litres of boiling water, season with salt and add the chicken. Reduce to a simmer, cover and poach for 60-80 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken) until the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh and the chicken is cooked through.
- Meanwhile, reserve some pistachios to garnish, then mix together all the remaining dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well. Taste for the balance of sweet, sour, salty and heat and adjust as required.
- To make the shallot pickle, mix the shallots with the vinegar, sugar and seasoning in a bowl. Set aside for about 20 minutes.
- Mix the sugar snap peas, radishes and any other vegetables you’re using in a large salad bowl. Add the Vietnamese coriander.
- When the chicken is cooked, leave to cool. Tear off the meat along the grain and season with pepper. Add this to the salad bowl along with the pickled shallots and their juices.
- When ready to serve, toss the salad together with the dressing. Garnish with the coriander, pistachios and pomegranate seeds. Serve with the crackers.
TIP Vietnamese coriander plants are available to buy online but if you can’t get any, use Thai basil, mint or more coriander instead.
The recipes and infusions are from Vietnamese: Simple Vietnamese Food to Cook at Home by Uyen Luu, published by Hardie Grant, price £22. To order a copy for £18.70 until 9 August, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.