- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3)
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, sliced
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger
- 2 cups water
- 1 head green cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds), shredded (about 2 1/2 quarts)
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 carrots, grated
- 3 radishes, grated
- 4 scallions including green tops, chopped
- 2 cups coarse-chopped mint, basil, cilantro, or dill, or a combination
- 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, cored and grated
- Rub the chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. In a medium saucepan, combine the jalapeño, ginger, and water. Bring to a simmer, add the chicken, and cover the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the chicken steam for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken breasts from the saucepan; when they are cool enough to handle, pull them into shreds.
- Meanwhile, in a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the cabbage with the vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Toss and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Add the carrots, radishes, scallions, 1 1/2 cups of the herbs, and the apple to the cabbage mixture. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Serve the salad topped with the chicken and the remaining 1/2 cup herbs.
Asian fish sauce is available at Asian markets and most supermarkets.
German Rieslings, so often shunned at the table because of their sweetness, can be a sublime match for Asian cuisine. That sweetness acts as a foil to both the heat and the saltiness of the dishes. For this Asian salad, go with a Kabinett from Germany's Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region for best effect.