This Southeast Asian dish is incredibly simple to make. The salad employs one of the great flavor combinations – sesame and roast chicken.
It also contains nam pla, the aromatic Thai fish sauce, which adds depth to the flavor. If you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute nuoc man, the Vietnamese version of the same thing (although in Japan, nam pla tends to be easier to find than nuoc man – I buy mine at Seiyu supermarket).
Serve with with rice noodles such as pho.
Ingredients (for 2-3 people)
- 250g chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc man)
- 2-3 fresh lettuce leaves
- 1 green pepper
- 1/4 of a red onion
Break the lettuce into bite-sized pieces by hand. Thinly slice the onion (against the grain) and cut the green pepper in half and then into thin strips.
Place the vegetables into a bowl, then pour just enough water to cover them. Add 4-5 ice cubes to keep them crispy. Leave these in the water for about ten minutes, then drain.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt and 1 pinch of pepper over the chicken breast and let it sit for for 5 minutes. Next, dribble a teaspoon of Thai fish sauce over the chicken and let it sit for another 5 minutes.
Spread the sesame oil over the chicken breast with a cooking brush (or use the back side of a small spoon). Dust the roasted sesame seeds over both sides of the chicken.
Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius (410 Fahrenheit) and place the chicken on a tray covered in baking paper. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
When the chicken has finished cooking, take it out of the oven and let it cool. Once ready, tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces by hand. Plate the vegetables and then decorate with the pieces of chicken. Garnish with coriander (cilantro to those in North America) and a piece of lemon or lime.