Fish sauce is the soy sauce of Southeast Asia—more pungent at first blush but very aromatic and malleable when combined with other flavors, like the chicken, vegetables and peanuts in this light, refreshing salad.
1 English cucumber, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup slivered fresh basil
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
Place chicken in a skillet or saucepan and add enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and gently simmer until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size strips.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in rice noodles and cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Whisk vinegar, fish sauce and sugar to taste in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chicken, noodles, cabbage, cucumber, carrot, basil and peanuts; toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare salad up to 8 hours in advance. Toss with peanuts just before serving.
Ingredient Note: Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian sauce made from salted, fermented fish. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets