friendly treat; vietnamese minced chicken salad

My favourite of all chicken salads and I have eaten loads. Not ever been on any menu – it’s something I treat myself and my friends with.

Refreshing with a modern take on the classic Vietnamese’s pork ”larbe” salad, has the classic flavours of the sweet, salty and sour that is so characteristic for the south east Asian food. Chicken makes the dish more juicer and attractive. If you want can you mix in fresh boiled – chilled rice.

Be always careful with boiled rice – never keep it more then 24hrs and never reheat if dropped in temperature under +65C. Like with pasta bacterial’s multiply incredibly fast.

Can be served as canapés too – using the iceberg lettuce’s heart leaves and you will get about 32-40 then – the small indv. bowls has to be filled a la minute.

Don’t do the chicken mixture more than 2 hours in advance, because the onion flavour will go dominate then.

Vietnamese minced chicken salad, 8 portions
8 chicken breast, without skin and roughly chopped
45ml (3tbsp) groundnut oil
1 large red onion, chopped
45 ml (3tbsp) grated fresh ginger
40gr fresh coriander, chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (use gloves)
2 iceberg – washed and separated into leaves

Garnish: fresh coriander leaves.

50ml fresh lime juice
120ml fresh lemon juice
30ml (2tbsp) cold water
60ml (4tbsp) ma pla (thai fish sauce) or chicken stock
30ml (2 tbsp) caster sugar
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

1. Dressing: Mix all the ingredients well together and make sure the sugar has properly dissolved.
2. Place the chicken breast in a food processor and pulse until minced – not too fine.
Heat up a wok or large frying pan with the oil until almost smoking. Cook the chicken for about 5 min until it turns white, breaking it up thoroughly with a large fork, wood if possible.
3. Drain away the excess juice, that come out of the chicken.
4. Transfer to a bowl and add the all the other ingredients and toss well using wooden cooking fork or spatula.
5. Toss the chicken mixture with the dressing just before serving – using a wooden too.
6. Place the icebergs leave, couple on top of each other, making indv. bowls. Just before serving spoon the chicken salad into the lettuce “bowels” and sprinkle a few coriander leaves on top.

Photo provided by: Georgia Glynn Smith