Vietnamese Poached Chicken Salad

As the weather gets warmer, I find the appeal of fresh and crunchy vegetables with citrus flavours gets just that little bit higher. This dish is really easy, quite cheap to prepare if you shop at an asian grocer and you can adapt as you wish.

Ingredients:

For the poached chicken:
1 chicken breast
1 tin of coconut milk
1 small piece of fresh ginger or 1 tsp of minced ginger from a jar
1 kaffir lime leaf
1 tbspn soy
1 tsp fish sauce
1 birds eye chilli (optional)

For the salad:
A handful of roughly chopped coriander, mint, Vietnamese mint and bean sprouts
Chopped spring onions
1/2 of one Chinese cabbage (wombok), finely chopped
1 red capsicum chopped in thin strips
1 red onion finely sliced
Toasted onions (you can buy these in a plastic container from most asian grocers..)

For thet dressing:
(Equal parts lime juice, sugar and fish sauce)
2 tbspn lime juice
2 tbspn caster sugar/palm sugar
2 tbspn fish sauce
*Chopped chilli, garlic, ginger are optional additions for flavour

Vietnamese Poached Chicken Salad.

Method:

Poaching the chicken ahead of time is key. Add all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Add chicken, then reduce to a simmer. Depending on size and density of the saucepan, this could take somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes, but check often. The chicken should be cooked, but moist. In the meantime, prepare your salad and dressing.
Once the chicken is cooked (reserve the liquid), remove and shred it with a chef's knife and fork. Be liberal and have some fun with it. Once shredded, warm the saucepan again and add in a small amount of liquid. This just ensures the moisture factor of the chicken, which will contribute to the salad dressing itself. After a couple of minutes, remove and combine with the salad.

With asian foods, I like to go for a Riesling or similar. Something that can handle the spice factor of the food, but also the complexity of the flavours present and deliver on texture. I'd suggest a Vickery Watervale Riesling. Enjoy!