When I think of summer in San Francisco, the first dish that comes to mind is one that my mom always made for me growing up. She would effortlessly whip up her famous Vietnamese chicken summer salad filled with fresh veggies and herbs. I’m a huge fan of the crunchy texture mixed with a sweet and savory fish sauce dressing.
The recipe I’m sharing for this summer salad is as satisfying as it is healthy. I’ve prepared it with Daring Original Pieces–a 100% plant-based, vegan, all-natural and gluten-free chicken alternative. They've got 11-14g of plant protein per serving and have a texture like no other.
The different flavors in each part of this dish work in conjunction to balance each other out. For example, the rich, deep umami dressing is brightened up with cilantro and fresh mint; deep fried shallots are mellowed out with cucumber and sweet red pepper. Allowing the different ingredients time to meld together makes for an even tastier end result.
I’ve chosen this dish to reflect the mix of cultures that makes San Francisco such a beautiful city. San Francisco has long celebrated the beauty of difference. Just like how the city forms its unique identity around the big melting pot of its residents, the diverse assortment of ingredients in this dish all come and work together.
In true CynEats fashion, I’ve added my own twist on the traditional recipe by adding purple cabbage for a cheerful pop of color. Serve this as a bright, refreshing side or by itself in a large bowl for a light summer dinner. I hope wherever you are, you’ll enjoy the flavors of sweet, savory and tangy all in one bite!
Prepare dressing: put all ingredients together in a jar, then shake well to combine. Set aside to let flavors meld together. Adjust to taste.
In a large bowl, toss cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, cilantro & mint together. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat vegetable oil until it shimmers. Add shallots and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until golden. This should take 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the shallots on paper towels–set aside.
Using the same oil in the pan, cook Daring Pieces according to instructions.
Using a fork or fingers, shred Daring Pieces.
Add dressing in increments to the salad bowl and toss (adjust to taste).
Top it off with chopped peanuts and crispy shallots. Enjoy!