Vietnamese food is one of my all time favorite ethnic cuisines. I know that sounds like a bold statement, but I have never met a Vietnamese dish I didn’t absolutely love. There is a certain lightness to Vietnamese dishes that, combined with intense flavors, makes for a tasty and guiltless meal. One signature dish that most people are familiary with is pho (pronounced fuh), which is a salty beef noodle soup. I love me some pho but I am really partial to this delicious cabbage salad, called goi ga. It combines lots of crunchy veggies with chicken and a salty, spicy dressing.
You can use plain boiled or grilled chicken for this salad, but I decided to dress it up a bit. I marinated some boneless, skinless chicken breast in a lemongrass marinade. The result was an intense flavor that added a lot to the simple salad. I made another recipe with the leftover chicken that I’ll put up later this week.
In other news, we finally planted our garden this week after weeks of sprouting our plants. Right now I have planted tomatoes, basil, butternut squash, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and watermelon. I’ve also got three different varieties of chili peppers and basil. It was a lot of work getting everything prepared and organized, but I am so thrilled with the result.
Have you entered my Cast Iron Skillet Giveaway? It ends on Friday at 5pm!
Lemongrass Marinated Chicken:
1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 stalk of lemongrass (about 4-5″ long)
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon (approx 1 tbsp)
4 cloves of garlic
1 Serrano chili – seeded
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, washed
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
Instructions: Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in food processor and puree. Marinate chicken breasts in mixture for at least 3 hours and then grill or bake.
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp brown sugar
Instructions: Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl and chill until serving time.
1 medium head of green cabbage, sliced or shredded
4 medium carrots, julienne or shredded
1 cup of snow peas, washed and sliced
2 cups of bean sprouts
2 green onions, washed and sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped or crushed
In a large mixing bowl, combine all salad ingredients (except peanuts) and toss thoroughly with dressing to combine. Plate 1/4 of the salad mixture on each plate, top with 4oz of chicken and sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped peanuts. Serve!