A crisp, delicate Asian salad is what makes me happy.
I make it my mission to try as many different varieties as possible every time I visit this part of the world. And let me tell you, I have found my ultimate favorite.
It’s the combination of crisp and fresh vegetables, thinly sliced and delicately prepared, paired with soft and tender dark meat, roasted nuts, spicy flavors, sour-sweet dressing, and plenty of fresh herbs.
Back home in Denmark, it’s hard to find a truly authentic and delicious Asian salad.
Last year, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a restaurant in Copenhagen that served authentic Vietnamese food.
Their Rosa Beef Salad was out of this world. It’s now one of my favorite restaurants in the city.
So I decided to try to bring this take-away wonder into my own kitchen as well. After some research and experimentation, I’ve come up with a classic and easy-to-make salad. It’s even a perfect fit for the Nordic Christmas theme. In honor of the holiday, I’ve substituted duck breast for beef, but feel free to use beef, chicken, fish, or even eggs.
The possibilities are endless!
For vegetables, I’ve used seasonal and affordable options like carrots, cabbage, and scallions, all fresh and crisp.
Be sure to follow the recipe for the dressing, which is an essential part of this salad. And although it may seem like a lot, don’t skimp on the herbs. They give the salad its flavor. They make it really authentic.
If you’re like me and love Christmas but crave something fresh and green in between the heavy dishes, this meal is perfect.
It fills your body with nutrients and exotic vibes, and it’s easy to make.
Try it and let me know how it turns out!
Vietnamese Duck Salad
- 1 duck breast
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp soya
- 1-2 carrots
- 1 handful of bean sprouts
- A chunk of cabbage (around 1 cup when chopped)
- 2-3 spring onions
- 1 mild (or stronger) red chili
- 2 handful fresh mint
- 2 handful fresh coriander
- 100 g rice noodles + boiling water
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- 1 red chill very finely chopped
- A handful salty peanuts, chopped
- 3 tbsp fried shallots (can be bought an asian groceries)
- lime wedges
- Start by preparing the duck breast. Use a sharp knife to lightly score the skin of the duck breast, cut away the extra fat on the sides and rub salt into it. Place the breast on a cold pan with the skin side downwards and turn on the pan on medium-high heat. Cook until the fat starts to come from the duck, fry the breast 6-8 min on each side. When the breast is almost done spread the honey on the crispy skin and pour on the soya, fry the breast just another minute while the marinade seasons the meat. Set the breast aside to sit for 3-4 minutes before thinly slicing it.
- While the duck is frying you can prepare the salad. Pour boiling water onto the rice noodles, let them soak for 5 minutes and then poor on cold water. Use a mandolin or a very sharp knife to thinly slice the cabbage, and the carrot (a julienne peeler is very useful on the carrots as well). Use a knife to thinly slice the spring onions and chop the herbs. Mix together all ingredients for the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix in the dressing, top with duck and additional topping before serving.