Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Chinese Cabbage and Bean Sprouts

Spicy, sweet and sour salads, such as this recipe, appear all over Southeast Asia in one form or another.

You will need:
750g chicken thighs and/or breasts on the bone 100g shallots, very thinly sliced 400g Chinese leaf, core removed and the leaves finely shredded 100g bean sprouts 1 large carrot, halved across and finely shredded 15g Vietnamese mint, or a mixture of coriander and mint, or Thai sweet basil leaves, roughly chopped 40g roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped Freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing:
3 tbsp fish sauce 3 tbsp lime juice 1 tbsp rice vinegar 2 tbsp caster sugar 1 tsp very finely chopped garlic 2 red bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped

Put the chicken pieces into a saucepan with 1 teaspoon salt and enough water to just cover. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes. Leave to cool in the cooking liquid. Then remove and discard the skin and bones and break the flesh into long thin strips. Save the stock for another dish.
Put the shallots into a large bowl, toss withoteaspoon salt and leave to soften for 30 minutes. Mix together the ingredients for the dressing. Just before serving, add the chicken to the bowl of salted shallots with the Chinese leaf, bean sprouts, shredded carrot, herbs and most of the peanuts. Pour over the dressing, season generously with black pepper and toss together well. Mound the salad decoratively on a plate and serve sprinkled with the remaining peanuts.

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