Oriental chicken farfalle salad

    2 hours 20 min

    Pasta bows taste deliciously different when combined with an exotic dressing of fish sauce, fresh red chilli and rice vinegar in a moist chicken salad. Fresh crunchy vegetables complete this well-balanced main-course dish. Any leftovers can be chilled – they will taste just as good the next day.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, about 150 g (5½ oz) each
    • 2 lemon or lime slices
    • 1 tbsp rice wine (sake or mirin) or dry sherry
    • 300g (10½ oz) farfalle (pasta bows)
    • 150g (5½ oz) carrots, cut into matchstick strips
    • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into matchstick strips
    • 2 celery sticks, cut into matchstick strips
    • ½ cucumber, about 200 g (7 oz), halved, seeded and cut into matchstick strips
    • Dressing
    • 2 tbsp fish sauce
    • 1 tsp caster sugar
    • 1 tbsp rice vinegar, cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 small fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
    • 1 large garlic clove, crushed

    Prep:2hr20min  ›  Ready in:2hr20min 

    1. Place the chicken breasts in a large shallow pan and pour in enough water to cover them. Add the lemon or lime slices and the rice wine or sherry, and heat until just simmering. Reduce the heat and poach the chicken for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the heat and cover the pan, then leave the chicken to cool completely in the cooking liquid.
    2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again. Set the pasta aside until cool.
    3. Place the carrots, red pepper, celery and cucumber in a large salad bowl. To make the dressing, mix together the fish sauce and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then add the vinegar, soy sauce, chilli and garlic. Pour the dressing over the raw salad vegetables.
    4. Drain the cooled chicken and pat dry on kitchen paper, then cut into bite-sized pieces. Stir the chicken and pasta into the dressed vegetables. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for about 1 hour. Bring the salad to room temperature before serving.

    Some more ideas

    Use other pasta shapes such as amori or gemelli (narrow spirals). * Make the salad with 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) white fish, such as haddock, plaice or whiting, instead of chicken. Poach the fish for 8–12 minutes or until just cooked and firm. * Use peeled cooked prawns and/or crab meat (drained if canned) instead of chicken. Add a handful of bean sprouts to the other vegetables, if liked, and garnish the salad with chopped fresh herbs, such as mint, coriander or basil (Thai or ordinary basil).

    Plus points

    Eaten without the skin, chicken is low in fat and the fat it does contain is mostly unsaturated. * The combination of raw carrots, pepper and celery makes this salad an excellent source of vitamins, particularly vitamin C.

    Each serving provides

    A, C, niacin * copper, selenium * B1, B6, iron, potassium

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