What do you do when you have leftover chicken from khao mun gai or gai yang? You turn it into a dish befitting the situation. My mother did that best, letting very little go to waste. You could poach chicken just for this salad and it would be delicious, especially if you serve it slightly warm. What’s even better, the next time you make khao mun gai, poach extra chicken to make yum gai the next day. If you’re not starting with leftovers, poach raw chicken and tear it into strands. I like adding the skin — it provides richness and moisture, the way oil does in Western salads. Slice it into thin strands.
Hawker Fare by James Syhabout with John Birdsall
In a small mixing bowl, combine the chicken, red onion, chiles, and seasonings (fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice). Mix gently with a spoon or, even better, your hands. Fold in the scallions, mint, cilantro, and rau ram. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with fried shallots. Garnish with cucumber slices and lettuce leaves.
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Recipe reprinted with permission from Hawker Fare by James Syhabout with John Birdsall. Photos by Eric Wolfinger. Copyright 2018, Anthony Bourdain/Ecco.