I love making chicken salads for lunch but lately I have been getting tired of the usual ceasar salad and fancied something a little different. So today I was pleased to re-discover Nigella’s delicious Vietnamese Chicken & Mint Salad which is quick and easy to throw together but big on flavour. I love the zestiness of this salad, it makes a great lunch on a summery day (like today!) I haven’t made many changes to this recipe other than the addition of Banana Blossom, a popular ingredient in Vietnamese cooking. I chose to add it mainly out of curiosity, as I’d never tried it before and as you can probably tell, I love to use flowers in cooking, and I’m pleased I did! I enjoyed the flavour and the combination with the other ingredients in this recipe very much and hope you will too. The flower is likened to artichoke in taste and can be eaten cooked or raw, acting as a vegetable in dishes. Unfortunately they are not easy to come by in the UK :-( I did manage to find a can of banana blossom in brine, which is completely fine as a substitute for the fresh ingredient. You might find this in your local Asian supermarket, but if not you can order online from a few places. Or simply omit and enjoy the original salad as is…
- 1 hot thai chilli (seeded and minced)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
- ½ medium red onion (finely sliced)
- black pepper to taste
- 200 grams shredded white cabbage
- 1 medium carrot (shredded or grated)
- 200 grams cooked chicken breasts (shredded or cut into fine slices)
- 1 fat bunch of mint (about 40g / 1½ cups leaves)
- (optional) 3 tbsp finely sliced banana blossom
- To make the dressing, mix the chilli, garlic, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, oil, and onion in a bowl and add black pepper to taste.
- In a separate larger bowl or a big plate, mix the carrot, cabbage, banana blossom (optional) mint and chicken.