Thursday, December 16, 2010

Goi Ga - Shredded Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Goi Gai is one of my favorite salad, it only comes in a close second to Goi Vit(Vietnamese Duck Salad). I always have to have some when I'm back in Vietnam. Vietnamese chicken, often refer as walking chicken, is so much better than chicken from the States. The meat is firm and more fragrance. The skin, my favorite part, is chewy not mushy. My mom would buy live chicken around the holidays, slaughtering them is a hassle but so worth it. Whenever I visit home, I would turn the outside freezer inside out hoping there is still some left. You can also use Cornish hen at the American supermarket, there is some firmness to their meat. They are quite small so you might have to use two. Goi ga is often made with shredded cabbage but be creative. I like to add lotus roots and shredded banana blossom if I have some lying around. The herb is especially important for this salad, it's just not the same to me if I did not use Vietnamese coriander. Each bite should have a tang from the lime, the aroma of the ground pepper, and finally the spiciness of the coriander leaves. Every single ingredients makes a difference!


Ingredients:

1 Cornish hen
1/2 head of cabbage
1 medium sweet onion
Vietnamese coriander
limes
fresh chili
sea salt
ground pepper
fish sauce
sugar
vinegar

1. Shred the cabbage into thin stripes.

2. Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of vinegar and then pour over cabbage. Let it soak in the fridge.
3. Boil the chicken in a pot of water. When chicken is fully cooked, remove and cool. You can use the broth to make soup.
4. Thinly sliced the onions, set aside for later use.
5. Rinse the coriander, and let dry. Once dry, rough chop and set aside.

6. Once the chicken has cooled, begin to shred the meat and skin. You want to have a good size bite so don't over shred. Don't strip the bones clean, leave some meat. The bones goes in the salad as well.

7. Drain the excess liquid from the cabbage. You don't have to squeeze it so it stays crispy.
8. Combine cabbage, chicken, and onions in a mixing bowl. Add a couple dash of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper, and the juice of 1 lime. Mix thoroughly and then taste. Add more lime juice if needed as well as salt or pepper.
9. Minced some fresh chili and add to the salad.
10. When the salad is to your liking, add the chopped coriander leaves.

Serve and enjoy!