Vietnamese chicken salad with crunchy peanuts

Vietnamese chicken salad with crunchy peanuts
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min, simmering time 15 min, plus cooling

This recipe might use a lot of ingredients but it’s the layering of textures and flavours that makes it so brilliant. Shredded chicken, papaya and crunchy vegetables are coated in a sweet and sour dressing, then smattered with toasted peanuts – salads will never look boring again.

Try more of our Vietnamese recipes including summer rolls, Banh Mi and a beef and mango salad.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
435kcals
Fat
21.3g (3.6g saturated)
Protein
37.8g
Carbohydrates
19.7g (17g sugars)
Fibre
6.5g
Salt
3.2g
Calories
435kcals
Fat
21.3g (3.6g saturated)
Protein
37.8g
Carbohydrates
19.7g (17g sugars)
Fibre
6.5g
Salt
3.2g

Ingredients

  • 500g free-range skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 20g fresh Thai basil, leaves picked and stalks reserved
  • 20g fresh coriander, leaves picked and stalks reserved
  • 20g fresh mint, leaves picked and stalks reserved
  • 2 fat garlic cloves
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 banana shallots, halved and finely sliced
  • 1-2 red chillies (depending on how hot you like it), finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • Grated zest and juice 1 lime, plus extra lime wedges to serve
  • 1 firm papaya, finely sliced into strips
  • 2 carrots, julienned or cut into long, fine strips
  • ½ chinese leaf (napa cabbage), finely shredded
  • ½ cucumber, seeds removed and sliced into half moons
  • 100g shelled peanuts, toasted in a dry pan then finely chopped

Method

  1. Put the chicken in a pan with the herb stalks and 1 garlic clove, bashed with the side of a knife. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 15 minutes or until cooked through and tender. Set aside to cool, then shred/slice the chicken into a serving bowl (see tip).
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1cm oil in a medium frying pan and fry the shallots, stirring from time to time, until browned and crisp. Set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain and cool.
  3. Next, make the dressing. Finely chop the remaining garlic clove and put in a small bowl with 1-2 of the chopped chillies, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and the zest and juice of 1 lime. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the chicken and toss together. Add all the herb leaves, sliced fruit and vegetables, and most of the peanuts, then toss to combine. Serve the salad topped with crispy shallots and the remaining peanuts, with lime wedges for squeezing

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  1. Thanks for this recipe. The dressing and the mix of herbs are both excellent, a lovely combination of flavours. I grilled strips of chicken breast and then marinaded briefly in the dressing (to which I’d added a glug of oil to help the dressing cling better to the solid ingredients, otherwise it’s very watery). I’d tweak further next time by using peeled diced cucumber rather than sliced, which is too chunky against the other textures; and I may try with ordinary salted peanuts rather than raw for a shot of salt.

    1. Hi Judith, thanks so much for your feedback! Glad you enjoyed it and it’s great to hear your recommendations too.

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