I eat meals with rice most weeks but I until I made this Vietnamese rice and chicken salad I hadn’t made a rice salad for a very long time, which was why when I was sent a pack of Amira Superior Aromatic Basmati rice to try I knew that a salad would be a perfect way to test it out. This tasty Vietnamese rice and chicken salad is full of fresh flavours and great textures: crunchy vegetables and cashew nuts, moist tender chicken and perfectly cooked rice, all flavoured with a lime, sesame and soy dressing.
I have to admit that I usually just boil, rinse and drain my rice but as I was making a salad I wanted it to have the perfect texture: light, fluffy and not wet as it can be when it’s boiled. On this occasion I took the extra time and followed the directions exactly. It involved soaking the rice for 30 minutes first, then stir frying it before covering it with boiling water, boiling it for just one minute and then leaving it to absorb the rest of the water. Yes, it did take longer but I did end up with very good rice. According to Karam Sethi, Michelin star chef, ‘Absolutely no other rice available in the UK compares [to Amira rice].’
This Vietnamese rice and chicken salad is just a slight adaptation from one of the recipes I was sent by Amira. The original recipe used prawns but I decided to add chicken to my salad instead. You could easily make it vegetarian by substituting the meat for tofu or simply omitting it altogether. It makes a perfectly balanced main meal but without the meat it could also work as a delicious side dish.
- 300g Amira Superior Aromatic Rice
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 2 birds eye chillies, finely sliced
- 30g bunch of coriander, chopped
- 30g bunch of chives, chopped
- 120g cashew nuts, roughly chopped
- 300g chicken, cut into strips
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- 150g mange tout, sliced
- Half a cucumber, cut into thin strips
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- Prepare the rice. Put it in a sieve and rinse under the cold tap. Put it in a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave for 30 minutes.
- Heat a little oil in a saucepan. Stir fry the rice for 30 seconds then pour on enough hot water from the kettle to cover the rice and come 1 cm above it. Stir. Cover with the lid and bring to the boil. Boil for 1 minute then turn the heat off and leave to stand for 13 minutes with the lid still on.
- After 13 minutes remove the lid and fork through the rice to separate the grains.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing together all the dressing ingredients. Use more or fewer chillies depending on how hot you want the salad to be.
- Dry fry the cashew nuts in a wok or frying pan. Keep moving the pan so they don't burn. Take them out when they are looking nicely toasted.
- Add a little oil to the pan and stir fry the chicken along with the garlic.
- Mix all the ingredients together and serve.
Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary packet of the rice but the opinions are my own.