A zingy treat if shvitz­ing

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

WE HAVE made great leaps for­ward in me­te­o­rol­ogy in re­cent years. Now, if it says on the weather fore­cast that there is a 40 per cent chance of show­ers, we know there is a 90 per cent chance of that be­ing right.

How­ever, be­yond five days things un­ravel — long-term fore­cast­ing is no­to­ri­ously un­re­li­able — so as I write this I have no way of know­ing whether you are read­ing the JC in a bak­ing hot gar­den or hud­dling in­side with hot choco­late as the rain falls. But for the ben­e­fit of this col­umn I am go­ing to as­sume that we are in mid­heat­wave — oy, is it shvitz­ing!

In the Far East they tend to eat foods which cool them down by para­dox­i­cally heat­ing them up — chilli pep­pers, it seems, do both si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

One of my favourite sum­mer recipes is a Viet­namese chicken salad which needs min­i­mal cook­ing (none at all if you have some cold chicken to hand) and is zingy, re­fresh­ing and healthy. Let me just cool down for a minute with a glass of iced le­mon­ade and I will tell you how to pre­pare it.

First, shred 200g of chicken. This could eas­ily be the fowl you used to make your Fri­day night chicken soup. Al­ter­na­tively, left­over roast or grilled chicken is per­fect. Shred it finely and place in a large bowl with 200g of finely shred­ded Chi­nese cab­bage leaves, a large grated car­rot, 100g of beansprouts and 20g each of mint and co­rian­der, also shred­ded finely. Add a hand­ful of crushed roasted peanuts to the mix­ture – these give a nice crunch.

Then make your Viet­namese dress­ing. The Thais and Viet­namese use nam pla or fish sauce but I haven't seen a kosher ver­sion (and in any event you wouldn't mix fish with chicken). So I would sub­sti­tute light soy sauce. Add two ta­ble­spoons to a sep­a­rate bowl, add an equal amount of freshly squeezed lime juice, a ta­ble­spoon of rice vine­gar, a ta­ble­spoon of caster su­gar and a grated or minced clove of gar­lic plus a finely chopped chilli (hot­ter or milder depend­ing on your taste). Mix well and pour over the chicken mix­ture. Gar­nish with a few more chopped peanuts.

Re­treat un­der mos­quito nets and wait pa­tiently for the mon­soon to ar­rive... or maybe for the driz­zle to stop.

One of my favourite sum­mer recipes is a Viet­namese chicken salad

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