Out of every kind of Asian food, Vietnamese is one of my favourites. I absolutely love the combination of fresh flavours like pickles, cucumber and carrots combined with the spicy cooked meats.
This is my spin on a banh mi, but in a bowl instead of a baguette. There are so many awesome ingredients including marinated chicken that is ridiculously flavourful, cucumber noodles, ribbons of thinly sliced carrot, 10 minute pickled radishes and lots of herbs and chilli.
I marinated the chicken overnight and it turned out outrageously tender and flavourful. I was eating so many of the cooked slices of chicken directly off the cutting board that I only had a few left when it was eventually time to assemble the salad, whoops! If you don’t have time to marinate the chicken thighs overnight, as little as 1 hour should also do the trick.
The cucumber noodles and carrot ribbons give the salad a wonderful freshness that is also enhanced by the chopped mint and Thai basil. The radishes are quickly soaked in a vinegar and honey liquid that gives them a sharp pickled flavour. After making this salad I have come a bit obsessed with pickled radishes and have been adding them to every salad I make.
This would make a fantastic packed lunch that will make you the envy of the office. Put all of the herbs, veggies and chicken in a container and store the dressing separately until you are ready to eat.
I know that many will be thrown off by the idea (and smell) of fish sauce, but trust me, when mixed with the other ingredients in this marinade it quietly blends into the background and becomes undetectable. If you are completely against using it then you could add in some tamari or coconut aminos instead.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger
- 3 tbsp honey (or other sweetener)
- 1 lemongrass stalk
- 6-7 radishes, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey*
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
- 1 cucumber
- 1 carrot
- 1 chili, thinly sliced
- 6-7 mint leaves
- 6-7 thai basil leaves
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp honey (or other sweetener)*
- In a blender or food processor combine the garlic, fish sauce, ginger, honey and lemon grass and blend until smooth.
- Pour the liquid into a Ziploc bag along with the chicken thighs and let marinate for a minimum of 1 hour but ideally overnight.
- Whisk the honey and red wine vinegar together, add in the salt and the thinly sliced radishes. Ensure that all of the radishes are submerged in the pickling liquid. Let sit for a minimum of 15 minutes, the longer you leave them, the more acidic they will taste.
- To cook the chicken you can either cook it on a grill for approximately 4 minutes per side or alternatively bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Using a spiralizer or julienne, cut the cucumber into very thin noodles. Using a vegetable peeler or spiralizer cut the carrot into long thin ribbons. In a large salad bowl combine the shredded lettuce, cucumber noodles, carrot ribbons, pickled radishes, slices of chilli, mint, thai basil and the grilled chicken cut into pieces.
- In a bowl whack together the lime juice, fish sauce and sweetener. Toss the salad with the dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.