Jamie Oliver is one of my food heroes. I just love the way he effortlessly chops a few veggies, scatters them on a board and creates a beautiful sharing platter.
When I prepared supper one evening this week I did the same. It was a very hot evening and we wanted something fresh and easy. No big serving dishes to wash up, ‘easy peasy’ (quoting Jamie O)!
I love the vibrant colours of red cabbage, but if you want to use green cabbage by all means do so. This is one of those ‘no rules’ dishes. You can interchange the other ingredients as you like. I like the fresh, crisp texture of cucumber, the sweetness of the corn and the tart contrast of pineapple. You can use any fruit, just watch those that brown easily (nectarines, apple & pear) as they need to be added just before serving.
I do not enjoy strong raw onion flavours, so in keeping with the Asian theme I used spring onion, but finely sliced red onion will also work.
Try to incorporate various shapes to create interest. Finely shredded cabbage, matchstick (julienne) cucumbers and cubed pineapple work well together.
Many South East Asian salads contain chopped peanuts, as I dislike peanuts I did not add them, but they would add delicious crunch and make the flavour authentic.
The coconut milk based dressing is much lighter than mayonnaise based dressings and more interesting than basic vinaigrettes. The addition of fish sauce, lime or lemon juice, chilli and ginger brings and exotic freshness. When serving on a board you need to place the dressing in a container, but if you prepare a bowl salad you can pour it over. As usual, adjust the chilli levels to personal taste.
You can omit the grilled chicken and serve the salad in a bowl to accompany other dishes. It will be amazing with grilled or roast pork. Instead of chicken add slices of grilled steak.
Play around with the herbs. I used coriander, but if you have Vietnamese mint it will be excellent.
A lovely use for the day after Christmas Turkey or Ham.