Recipe: Black Sheep Bar & Grill,Tauranga | Photography: Brydie Thompson

½ head cabbage, finely shredded
½ red onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 cups loosely packed mint, roughly torn (can substitute with any fresh herbs of your choice)
1 carrot, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks
2 cups shredded roasted chicken
¼ cup fried shallots
¼ cup crushed roasted peanuts
1 tbsp ikan bilis (dried anchovies) or fried whitebait!
½ cup undiluted nuoc cham

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the salad except the shallots and peanuts. Toss to combine. Pour over the nuoc cham and toss again to coat. Transfer to a serving plate or bowl and scatter with the shallots and peanuts.

NUOC CHAM DRESSING
½ cup lime juice or lemon juice (or a mix of juice and rice vinegar)
¼ cup caster sugar (or for a healthier option try coconut sugar)
approx ½ cup fish sauce
2 chillies, finely chopped (seeds removed if you wish)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
¾ cup water to dilute

Mix together the juice, vinegar (if using) and sugar, stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste. It should taste pleasant and have a good balance of sweet/sour. Adjust if needed.
Add the fish sauce gradually, tasting as you go until the mixture changes noticeably from sweet to quite savoury. Add a little more fish sauce then stir in the chillies and garlic. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes before using. If using immediately dilute the nuoc cham with the water and serve, otherwise store it in the fridge undiluted. It will keep for about one month in the fridge.
TIP: If you have a mortar and pestle you can use it to get even more flavour into the sauce by pounding the chilli and garlic together first, then making the nuoc cham in the mortar.

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