Vietnamese food is renowned for its vibrancy and freshness and this colourful noodle salad is not only beautiful to look at, it's also tantalising to eat. Zingy from the lime juice, salty from the fish sauce and spicy from the chilli, it's a main course salad that's a harmonious balance of flavours and textures.

  • 2 free-range chicken breast fillets
  • 10g chicken stock powder (use 2 tsp)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber
  • 100g cos lettuce leaves
  • 20g mint
  • 20g coriander
  • 1 long red chilli
  • 1 lime
  • Fish sauce / sesame oil
  • 100g vermicelli noodles
  • 20g roasted peanuts
  • 1 tbs caster sugar

Utensils- Medium saucepan

  • Asian shredder (optional)
  • Kettle
  • Grater
  • Colander

MethodStep 1 Poach chickenPlace the chicken in a medium saucepan with 2 tsp stock powder, star anise and 500ml (2 cups) water and bring to the boil. Step 2 Cool chickenReduce the heat to low and simmer for 6-8 mins, turning chicken breasts halfway through, until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool (reserve stock - see cooking tip). Step 3 Prepare ingredientsMeanwhile, using an Asian shredder, julienne the carrot and thinly slice the cucumber on the diagonal. Thickly shred the lettuce leaves. Pick the mint leaves and coriander sprigs (discard stems). Thinly shred the chilli (discard seeds for less heat if you like). Step 4 Make dressingBring a kettle to the boil for the noodles. Zest and juice the lime into a bowl. Stir in the dressing mix and 1 tbs sugar. Step 5 Prepare noodlesPlace the vermicelli noodles in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 2-3 mins until tender, then drain and refresh under cold water. Drain well and cut with scissors. Step 6 Get ready to serveShred the chicken and toss with the noodles, vegetables, herbs and dressing. Sprinkle over the peanuts and chilli.Cooking Tip: Serve the stock as an accompaniment to the salad or keep to make a soup. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze.