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Vietnamese Chicken Salad Delight

1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
Vegetable oil for frying
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound skinless and shredded poached chicken breast
3 cups julienned Chinese white radish (daikon)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped rau rum (see note)
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
1 teaspoon chopped red chili pepper
2 teaspoons roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 dozen prawn crackers

Heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add
onions and stir-fry until crispy golden (do not allow to burn).
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Dissolve sugar and vinegar in a bowl for salad vinaigrette.

Stir in fish sauce and garlic; set aside. In large mixing bowl,
gently toss together chicken , radish, carrots, celery, rau rum,
basil, chili pepper and salad vinaigrette. Set aside.

When ready to serve, heat 2 cups of oil to the point that a bread
cube browns quickly and rises to surface. Lower heat and drop in
a prawn cracker. Cracker will puff and swell and rise almost
immediately to the surface; as soon as cracker has fully expanded,
remove with tongs and drain on paper towels. Proceed with the rest
of prawn crackers.

To serve, place chicken salad at the center of large platter;
arrange prawn crackers around it and serve immediately. Makes 4-6

Note: Rau ram is an aromatic coriander with a peppery citrus note.
The herb, fish sauce, Chinese radish and prawn crackers are sold
at Asian markets.


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