The essential flavourings of Vietnamese nuoc cham relish are called upon in this light salad, which is easy to prepare and pack into plastic containers for a fork or chopstick picnic meal.
2 chicken breasts
1 carrot, peeled
3 tbsp rice vinegar or lime juice
1 tsp sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
Sea salt and pepper
3 shallots, finely sliced
Half a cucumber, peeled
Dash of sesame or vegetable oil
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
3 tbsp mint or coriander leaves
½ mild red chilli, finely sliced
2 tbsp roasted peanuts
1 lime, quartered
Poach the chicken in simmering salted water for 20 minutes, then drain and leave to cool (or use left-over cooked chicken). Cut the carrot into 10cm sections, finely slice lengthwise then cut into matchsticks. Mix the vinegar or lime juice with the sugar, garlic, salt and pepper, toss with the sliced shallots and carrot and set aside for 10 mins.
Roughly shred the chicken. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and finely slice. Combine the chicken, cucumber, sesame oil, fish sauce, mint and chilli with the shallots, carrots and their dressing, and toss lightly.
Roughly crush the peanuts and scatter over the top. Serve with lime wedges.