Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a starter


I love the freshness of Oriental salads. The fragrance of the herbs such as Thai basil, and Asian leaves like red mustard leaf and mizuna, with a dressing spiked with lemon grass, ginger and chilli adds a new dimension to a leafy salad.

You can vary the herbs and leaves according to what's available and add sprouts, shoots and cresses such as coriander, leek, shisho and so on, even a handful of bean sprouts. I've used smoked chicken breast here, but an alternative is to poach some fresh chicken breasts in some chicken stock and soy sauce for 6-7 minutes and let them cool in the liquid.

4 smoked chicken breasts or the boned meat from a whole smoked chicken, skinned and shredded
100g Asian salad leaves, such as mizuna or mustard leaf
A handful of Thai basil
2 punnets of shiso cress, any other cress or sprouts like alfalfa
1 teacup full of picked coriander leaves
1 teacup full of mint leaves
15g dried Chinese black fungus, soaked overnight in cold water, drained and finely shredded or 60g enoki mushrooms, blanched in boiling salted water for 1 minute, or shiitake
1 small carrot, peeled and finely shredded
3 spring onions, finely shredded on the angle
60g fresh palm hearts or white radish (mooli), peeled and finely shredded

for the dressing

Juice of 1 kaffir or ordinary lime
1tbsp rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
4tbsp ground nut oil
12tbsp finely chopped fresh lemon grass
12tbsp finely chopped galangal or root ginger
12small mild red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together and season. Mix all the other ingredients together and mix with the dressing. Arrange on plates and serve immediately.

Comments