Please Pass the Recipe

from one generation to the next

Chicken Salad with Fragrant Herbs and Hoi Sin Dressing

chicken salad, hoi sin dressing

chicken salad, hoi sin dressing

I’ve moved two thousand kilometres to the north and the stacks of unpacked removalist boxes tell me I need more cupboard space. I don’t have a well organized high tech cook’s kitchen like the one I left in Melbourne, more a renovation project for the near future, but it’s all I have so for now and it’s mine.

With the warmer climate, I see my cooking inspiration skewing away from Europe, deeper into south east Asia, focusing more on the ingredients of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and fanning into India, China and Japan. I anticipate fresh leafy greens, fragrant herbs, seafood and tropical fruits will be the basis of my meals. I reckon my wok will get a serious workout, the char grill, mandolin, mortar and pestle too. Already I’m sensing I’ll be planning food that’s quick to cook, fresh, light food with zesty flavours and crunchy textures.

After relying on local cafes for sustenance for a few days I filled our borrowed fridge and restocked the pantry shelves. We discovered a bellissimo Italian deli, an artisan baker, and the Standard Market Company, a high end food store with inhouse cheese and beef aging rooms and row upon row of quality Australian groceries. Even the local supermarket seemed to be a cut above the average. Whew, my relief is palpable. Next week hopefully I’ll have the energy to visit my local Farmers Market.

By the end of each day I’m exhausted. A chicken with a sound pedigree seemed a sensible purchase because the tender juicy and tasty meat of a gently poached chicken is wonderful shredded and added to quickly prepared salads. It will get me through a few days.

A rushed lunch at a close by cafe inspired this salad. Their version included duck and was served in flaky roti bread, but it was the fresh herbs and the subtle but unmistakable flavour of hoi sin sauce that got my creative juices flowing.

Chicken Salad with Fragrant Herbs and Hoi Sin Dressing

2 poached chicken breasts

1 cup each flat leaf parsley, mint, coriander and basil leaves

2 radishes

1/2 Lebanese cucumber

1/2 red capsicum

10 snow peas

1/3 cup peanuts, crushed

Pickled Carrot

1 large carrot, cut into fine julienne

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons boiling water

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Salad Dressing

3 tablespoons hoi sin sauce

3 teaspoons chilli oil

3 teaspoons peanut oil

2 teaspoon fish sauce

2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Firstly prepare the pickled carrot. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the boiling water. Stir in the vinegar then pour the mixture over the carrot. Allow to rest for 30 minutes then thoroughly drain.

Finely shred the chicken breast with your fingures tearing along the natural grain. Set aside.

Pick the leaves from the herbs, wash and spin dry.

Very finely slice the radishes and cucumber, a mandolin makes this job easy.

Trim the membranes from the red capsicum, top and tail the snow peas. Cut both into fine julienne.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, toss together the herbs, drained carrot, radish and cucumber slices, capsicum and snow pea julienne. Add 2/3 of the dressing and lightly toss.

Add the chicken and toss to combine.

Tranfer to a serving platter, scatter crushed peanuts over and serve with extra sauce on the side.

Serves 4 for lunch

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

27 comments on “Chicken Salad with Fragrant Herbs and Hoi Sin Dressing

  1. Michelle
    September 29, 2015

    My grandmother used to say that one should move every decade or so, just to clean things out. Now that I’ve been in my house for 20+, I know for sure that she was right. Hope you’re settling in!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 29, 2015

      We are settling, thanks. We had been at our previous place 18yrs, though we’d moved out in 2009 for a major renovation and had done a big cull then. Not enough storage here for the essentials, biggest challenge is the lack of book shelves…

      Like

  2. This looks fresh and flavorful, just the thing for our indian summer weather just now. I have pinned your recipe to make before the mint and basil in my garden dies back due to cooler weather.

    We still have boxes in our garage from the remodel over 10 years ago…time to purge.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 27, 2015

      Enjoy your enduring warmth and the remaining fresh herbs Liz. Stuff in boxes pose a bit of a conundrum. I figure if it’s still in the box after a year I can live without it.

      Like

  3. Conor Bofin
    September 26, 2015

    We are leaving summer far behind in Ireland. This brings it back a bit.

    Like

  4. The Hungry Mum
    September 25, 2015

    The hungry dad would love this 🙂

    Like

  5. Beck @ Goldenpudding
    September 25, 2015

    Beautiful fresh flavours Sandra, but I echo Margot’s comment of waiting till we have the weather for it in Canberra – not to mention until we can buy basil for less than $5 a bunch! I did see my first mangoes at the markets last week though!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 25, 2015

      After the protracted winter in Melbourne I probably jumped the gun a bit with my enthusiasm for salads, but light eating seems the right choice. The mangoes need a month or so to sweeten up, before I start to buy them. Summer will come to you soon enough Beck ☀️sending sunshine

      Liked by 1 person

  6. tinywhitecottage
    September 25, 2015

    What a refreshing change! That is a whole lot of miles Sandra. I look forward to seeing posts of foods inspired by your new climate. This salad looks so fresh and delicious. I love chicken breast simply poached. 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 25, 2015

      Thanks Seana, yes the climate is an inspiring change but sadly the kitchen itself is off putting. There will be a renovation!

      Like

  7. Glenda
    September 25, 2015

    Hi Sandra, Think of all the mangoes you can eat now 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 25, 2015

      Yeah mangoes! They’re still a bit pricey but the season has begun!

      Like

  8. StefanGourmet
    September 25, 2015

    Sounds delicious, especially the dressing.
    BTW, do you use standard tablespoons (15 ml) or Australian (20 ml)? I wonder because you mention 3 tsp, which I would write as 1 Tbsp.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 25, 2015

      20ml teaspoons Stefan, so frustrating that there is no standard!

      Like

  9. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    September 24, 2015

    You, too, have hit the ground running! Sounds like you are in the midst of foodie heaven. I do wish I had a better understanding of Asian style foods, so I’m glad your thoughts have turned this way. Look forward to those future posts! Hope the kitchen magically expands and you get that extra cupboard space!

    Like

  10. anitacuisine
    September 24, 2015

    this looks so good !

    Like

  11. Gather and Graze
    September 24, 2015

    Gosh, does this sound good! Such beautiful fresh flavours… absolutely perfect for the warmer weather/climate that you’re in now! Can’t wait for spring to actually arrive here in Canberra – it’s been more like a continuation of winter these past few days! 😦 Must feel great to have re-stocked the fridge and pantry with yumminess!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 25, 2015

      Thanks Margot, yes it’s a beautiful time to arrive in Brisbane. I left some wintery thing in the wardrobe to bring to Canberra in Oct! Looking forward to meeting you!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. cheergerm
    September 24, 2015

    Some great summer eating here! Glad you are adapting and settling in.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 25, 2015

      Thanks Cheery, feeling pretty smug here in sunny Qld but that will change when the humidity sets in!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Moya
    September 24, 2015

    Wow Sandra it sounds like you have made a very health move… love Asian flavors too and look forward to seeing your recipes. Your chicken salad look wonderful 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      September 25, 2015

      Thanks Moya, hopefully I won’t fall into a rut and serve the same few dishes over and over…

      Like

  14. Leah
    September 24, 2015

    Yum! Looks and sounds amazing. I’m sure you’re going to expand my salad making repotoire this Summer 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: