• Put chicken in a medium saucepan and add 2 to 3 cups water, enough to cover chicken by about 1/2 inch. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook until done, 10 to 15 minutes.
• Meanwhile, combine lime juice, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar and mix everything well. Add sliced onion and toss to coat. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, until you are ready to complete the dish.
• Transfer the meat to a plate to cool, reserving the broth for another use, such as making soup or cooking rice. When the chicken is cool, tear it into long, thin shreds. Coarsely chop the mint and/or herbs. Add the shredded chicken, cabbage, carrots, mint, and herbs to the bowl of onions and seasonings, and toss to coat everything well. Mound the salad on a serving plate, and top with chopped peanuts, if using. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 206 calories, 29 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 78 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 760 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 15%.
Recipe from Vietnamese Cooking Made Easy by Nancie McDermott (Chronicle Books; 2005).
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