Chicken and vermicelli salad

Chicken and vermicelli salad

The salad looked like a Vietnamese- inspired dish with a bit of Chinese influence.

It was missing an essential Vietnamese ingredient – the ubiquitous, fish sauce. Plus, he added a dressing of tahini. As far as I can tell, sesame oil/paste is seldom used in Vietnamese cooking. The dressing sounded Chinese. Cold noodles with sesame- vinegar sauce served is a popular noodle dish in China.

Here is what he did:

  • stir-fried some strips of pork that had been marinated in a soy sauce mixture
  • softened the vermicelli in boiling water
  • cooked them in a pot of boiling water for about a minute
  • drained the noodles in a colander and ran them under running cold water to cool
  • made a dressing #1 with lime juice, soy sauce and sugar
  • made a dressing #2 tahini, soy sauce, sugar and lime juice
  • tossed the cooked pork with slices of raw snow peas, green and red peppers and napa cabbage and dressing #1
  • tossed the cooled noodles together with the salad and drizzled dressing #2 over them

Here is what I did with the ingredients I had at home:

Ingredients: For 2

2 squares of dried rice vermicelli*
2 pieces of chicken thighs, cooked
2 cups of mung bean sprouts, blanched
Half an English cucumber, seeds removed and shredded
6 cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Dressing:

2 tablespoons of sesame paste
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
Lime juice – from one lime
2 tablespoons of mirin
Freshly-ground pepper

* I like the Dongguan brand as it is packed in square pieces. One square per serving is how I estimate the servings. Any other kind of vermicelli is fine.

Method:

  1. Put the dried vermicelli in a bowl and pour boiling water to cover the pieces. Press them into the water and leave to soften for about 10 minutes. Use a fork or chopsticks to separate the strands of noodles. If the noodles are still hard, let them soak in the water for another 5 minutes. Drain the noodles and set aside.
  2. Beat the ingredients for the dressing together until the sesame paste becomes blended with the other ingredients.
  3. Cut the chicken into thin strips.
  4. Toss the chicken, mung bean sprouts, cucumber and cherry tomatoes together with the dressing.
  5. Add the cooled noodles and toss gently to mix.
  6. Garnish with the chopped cilantro.

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