This dish is wonderful warm or cold. If you are planning on eating cold or as leftovers the next day, pack some extra peanuts and fried shallots separately, as these will soften. If you choose not to make the nuoc cham dressing there are some great deli versions available. If you don't like the crunch of raw beans, quickly steam them before serving.
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
5cm-piece ginger, sliced
125ml (½ cup) chicken stock
5 kaffir lime leaves, coarsely torn
400g chicken breast fillets, at room temperature
400ml coconut milk
Nuoc cham dressing
60ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
60ml (¼ cup) rice vinegar
2 tbsp palm sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red chilli, very finely chopped
juice of ½ lime
175g rice stick noodles
chicken stock, if needed
1 cup green beans, topped and tailed
1 medium-sized cucumber, peeled and sliced into rounds
½ cup Thai basil, leaves picked
½ red onion, thinly sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves, deveined and very finely sliced
½ cup roasted peanuts
2 tbsp fried shallots
extra Thai basil leaves
1. Add the poached chicken ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan and place over low heat, so that it is just below simmering. Cook for approximately one hour or until the chicken is cooked through and just firm to the touch.
2. Gently remove the chicken, place into a bowl and shred the meat using two forks. Reserve the poaching liquid and add a tablespoon or so to the shredded meat.
3. To make the nuoc cham dressing, place the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and 100ml water in a pan over medium heat and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to just below boiling point, then set aside. Once cool, add garlic, chilli and lime juice and stir to combine.
4. Bring the reserved poaching liquid to a rolling boil. Add the noodles to the pot (if the noodles aren't generously covered, top up with a little chicken stock) and cook for 3 minutes (or for length of time suggested on packet instructions).
5. While the noodles are boiling, add all the salad ingredients to a large serving platter or bowl. Strain the noodles and add to the serving bowl. Top with shredded chicken and garnish with fried shallots, peanuts and extra Thai basil. Drizzle with nuoc cham dressing to taste, then serve.
Find more of Katrina Meynink's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.