We use to frequent a little local Vietnamese restaurant that, sadly, is no longer in business.  It was a favorite of ours because we really enjoy pho and banh mi and it was the only Vietnamese restaurant around us that didn’t use MSG.  The ingredients were always fresh, everything was prepared to order and they served some things that were unique.  One of those items was a chicken and apple salad that the owner created just for their menu.  Now that the restaurant is closed, I tried to recreate the tangy, sweet salad with this recipe.  It’s crunchy from the fried shallots and the crisp apples.  I especially like the dressing that goes with it.  It can be used for salads or as a dipping sauce for veggies and rolls. 

Chicken and Matchstick Apple Salad

Makes 2 servings

1 cup cooked chicken, shredded

2 medium sized apples

4 shallots

Coconut oil for frying

  1. Preheat pan or skillet with oil.
  2. Thinly slice the shallots.  I leave them in rings and separate them.
  3. Fry shallots until crispy and browned.  Don’t do what I did and leave them in there for too long.
  4. Core and julienne the apples.  I used a mandoline.
  5. Combine shredded chicken, apples and dressing (recipe below) and toss well.
  6. Top with fried shallots.
  7. Extra shallots can be refrigerated for about a week and reheated in the oven.

The restaurant served the salad with just the chicken and apples but I usually put my homemade version on top a bed of greens.  Either way, it’s delicious. 

Vietnamese Style Dressing (adapted from this one)

Makes about 1 cup

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/2 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

2 – 3 tablespoons water

1 – 2 shallots, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  1. Combine everything and mix well.
  2. Left over dressing can be refrigerated for up to a week.

Fish sauce is quite salty and I found I had to reduce the amount from the original recipe.  You can always use a little less fish sauce and a bit more water.