On a recent trip to Langkawi, an island off the west coast of Malaysia, I visited a wonderful boutique resort called Temple Tree run by an Australian woman called Narelle Mc Murtrie. The food here is an eclectic and very delicious mix of European and Asian, reflecting the philosophy of the resort which comprises eight heritage antique hourse of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian origin. Narelle loves chef Tom Kine's cookbooks, which explore taste and flavour across many continents. This recipe is inspired by one from his book Asian Bites (Dorling Kindersley).
- chicken breasts - 2, weighing about 300g each, skin removed
- celery sticks - 6, cut from the centre of the bulb
- eschalot or baby onion - 1, peeled
- fresh ginger - 5cm peice, peeled
- peppercorns - 6
- fresh coriander - 1/2 bunch, leaves only, washed and dried
- rice or mung bean vermicelli - 150g, soaked in boiling water 5 minutes, then drained
- light soy sauce - 2 tablespoons
- rice wine vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- garlic - 2 cloves, crushed
- green chillies - 2, deseeded and finely chopped
- green onions (shallots) - 4, finely sliced
- sugar - 1 teasooon
- salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- toasted sesame oil - 2 tablespoons
- sesame seeds - 2 tablespoons
Serves 4 - 6
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add two of the celery stalks, the eschalot, a couple of slices of fresh ginger and the peppercorns. When the stock is boiling, add the chicken breasts and return to the boil. Simmer for five minutes, skimming off any scum that comes to the top. Remove from heat and cover with a lid. Leave to stand for 20 minutes, then remove from water and allow to cool. This will give you juicy perfectly cooked chicken.
Make the dressing: in a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, chillies, green onions, sugar and salt. Grate the remaining ginger and add to the dressing. Leave to stand to combine the flavours.
Cut remaining celery into thin slices, re-stack and cut into thin matchsticks then toss together with the sesame oil and cooked drained noodles. When chicken is cool, pull apart into shreds about 3cm long and 1cm wide. Mix chicken with noodles and celery, add the dressing and leave to stand five minutes.
Meanwhile, dry roast the sesame seeds in a frying pan tossing over medium heat until they turn golden brown. Tear the coriander leaves and add to the salad. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds, toss well to combine and serve immediately.