Rice Noodle Salad with Chicken
- TOTAL TIME:
- SERVINGS: 8
- 4 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced, dark greens reserved
- 3 lemongrass stalks, smashed with the flat side of a knife
- 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup Asian fish sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
- 2 serrano chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 pound pad thai rice noodles
- 1 small jicama (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
- 1/4 pound mung bean sprouts
- Peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges, for serving
- In a soup pot, combine the dark scallion greens with the lemongrass, 2 tablespoons of the ginger and 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce. Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer over low heat just until cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken. Strain the liquid into a heatproof bowl and let cool. Shred the chicken, add it to the liquid and refrigerate overnight.
- In a small bowl, combine the chiles, garlic, sugar, mirin and vinegar with the remaining 2 tablespoons of ginger and 6 tablespoons of fish sauce. Refrigerate overnight.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and cool under running water. Cut into 6-inch lengths and pat dry, shaking the colander occasionally. Transfer the noodles to a bowl along with the jicama, bean sprouts, sliced scallions and the dressing. Drain the chicken and add it to the salad. Serve with peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges.
This delicate, Asian-influenced chicken dish will go best with an equally delicate whiteanything full-bodied and rich will taste clunky and coarse with it. Try a good-quality Pinot Grigio. Many of them have almost no taste, but the best from Italy combine graceful melony fruit with bright, lively acidity.