Vietnamese Crispy Brisket Salad
Serves 4 to 6
Prep: 30 mins - Cook: 1 hour
About this recipe
This aromatic salad pinballs that traditional Vietnamese quintet of flavors—salty fish sauce, sour lime juice, sweet sugar, pungent garlic, and fiery chiles—with crispy, meaty shreds of smoky brisket and fresh mint, cilantro, and other fragrant herbs.
It’s the perfect way to enjoy brisket on a hot day!
For the dressing
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
2 tbsp cold water
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
For the salad
1 cup vegetable oil for frying
1/2 pound barbecued brisket, torn into shreds
1 seedless cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 serrano chiles, stemmed and sliced crosswise
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh cilantro, basil, and peppermint or spearmint (at least two, ideally all three)
3 tbsp chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1. Place the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a small mixing bowl and mash to a paste with the back of a spoon. Add the remaining sugar,
lime juice, fish sauce, cold water, and pepper, and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Correct the seasoning, adding lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar to taste. The dressing should be highly seasoned. The dressing can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour until serving (longer than that and the garlic tends to take over).
2. Just before serving, line a plate with paper towels. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan or wok to 350°F. Working in batches, deep-fry the shredded brisket until sizzling and crisp, 2 minutes. Transfer the brisket with a slotted spoon to the prepared plate to drain.
3. Pour the dressing into a large serving bowl. Stir in the fried brisket shreds. Add the cucumber, chiles, scallions, and herbs. Toss to mix. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve.
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Excerpted from The Brisket Chronicles by Steven Raichlen, photographs by Matthew Benson. Workman Publishing (c) 2019. McSpadden© 2015.