Fresh Chicken Salad with Grapefruit, Mint
and Lemon Grass Recipe
(Thit Ga Tron Voi Buoi, Rau Thom Va Sa)
Dried shrimps, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
Uncooked shrimps in the shell
Medium cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthways,
seeded and sliced thinly
Large carrot, shredded
Cooked chicken meat, cut into thin strips
Chopped lemon grass
Large grapefruit, peeled, sectioned and cut
crossways into 2.5cm pieces
Coriander, to garnish
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Nuoc Mam sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh red chili pepper, seeded and minced
Fresh lime juice
Nuoc Mam sauce
Heat about 5cm oil to 180oC/350oF in a
wok. Add the chips 2-3 at a a time and keep them immersed in the oil
with a pair of chopsticks or slotted spoon until puffy. This should take
about 10 seconds.
Turn and cook for the same length of time.
When finished, set aside.
Rub down the wok, return it to a moderate
heat and cook the peanuts. Stir constantly until the peanuts are golden
brown about 5 minutes. Grind with a grinder or put between a couple of
sheets of clean strong paper and grind with a rolling pin or milk
Toast the sesame seeds in the same way for
only 3 minutes. Grind lightly to a grainy texture.
To make the pancakes, beat the eggs, Nuoc
Mam sauce and pepper together with 1/2 teaspoon water in a bowl. Brush
the bottom of a non stick omelet pan with some oil and place over
moderate heat until hot.
Pour in half of the egg mixture and tilt
the pan immediately to spread the mixture evenly over the bottom - the
pancake should be paper-thin.
Cook until the egg is set - this should
not take more than 30 seconds. Set aside. Repeat, using up the rest of
the mixture and set aside.
Combine the garlic, chili, sugar, lime
juice, vinegar and Nuoc Mam sauce in a bowl. Stir to blend thoroughly.
Set the dressing aside.
Drain the dried shrimps and pound or blend
in a blender or processor until very fine. Set aside.
Cover the pork with water and bring to the
boil over a high heat. Lower and boil for about 30 minutes or until the
juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife. Run cold water
over the pork and set aside.
Cook the raw shrimps in boiling water
until just pink - about 2 minutes. Run cold water over them, drain,
peel, devein and cut lengthways in halves. Shred the shrimps and set
Sprinkle salt over the cucumber and carrot
and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Run cold water over them and squeeze
dry with your hands. It is imperative that the vegetables are bone dry
to ensure their crunchiness.
Dip the beansprouts in salted boiling
water for 30 seconds. Run cold water over them and drain.
Cut the egg pancakes into strips. Combine
the egg pancake strips, dried shrimps, shredded shrimps, chicken,
cucumber, carrot, beansprouts, mint, lemon grass, grapefruit and sesame
Mix well with your hands and pour over the
Transfer to a serving dish or serve
separately, and sprinkle the ground peanuts over it.
Garnish with coriander. Serve with shrimp
chips on which guests place bite-sized portions of the salad.
Alternatively, serve in hollowed
grapefruit shells instead of a serving dish.