I had bought some chicken bones to make some Vietnamese chicken broth. I am not sure if it is my immigrant economical upbringing but I don't like waste. So after I cook the bones, I spend the time to pick any meat that is left. Usually, I throw it in the broth for soup. This time, I thought I could really go for gỏi gà.
Gỏi Gà (Vietnamese Chicken Salad) - Serves 6-8
This salad is slightly sweet so don't be surprised by the amount of sugar. All quantities are approximate and can be changed. Wandering Chopsticks also has a recipe for gỏi gà.
* 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
* salt and pepper, to taste
* 2-3 cups small cabbage, sliced thinly
* 2-3 small carrots, grated
* 1 small onion, sliced thinly
* 1 cup vinegar
* 3-4 tbsp sugar
* ½ tsp salt, or to taste
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Mix the cabbage, carrots and onion.
Dissolve sugar in the vinegar and add to the cabbage mixture.
Let sit for an hour, mixing so all the vegetables absorb the vinaigrette.
Adjust the seasoning with sugar and salt.
The vegetables are ready, once the cabbage tastes less raw and are not as white.
Take a handful of vegetables and squeeze out the vinegar.
Place in a separate bowl and repeat with the remaining cabbage mixture.
Add the chicken and mix.
Garnish with fried onion and fresh mint, and serve with bánh tráng (sesame rice paper) or bánh phồng tôm (shrimp crackers).
Chicken bones, picked for gỏi gà.
Sliced cabbage and onion.
Cabbage and carrot mixture, "marinating" in vinegar.
After squeezing out the vinegar, add chicken.
Bánh tráng is a special type of rice paper that is to be toasted. When I was in Quảng Ngãi, the town where my mother grew up in Vietnam, it was served before a meal as snack food. You would just dip it in fish sauce. It is perfect for scooping gỏi, by breaking it into pieces. It is also perfect for adding into specific soups, like bún bò Huế. It is usually toasted over a fire, or my mom does it over the burner. We found out that you can do it in the microwave, making sure to turn it, about 30 seconds on each side. I have a stash of bánh tráng from my grandmother. Lately, my grandmother has been disatisfied with her supplier from California and so actually gets family to bring some back from Vietnam.