Ming Tsai's Crazy Chicken Watercress Salad

Chef Ming Tsai's preventative healthy-cooking style includes not only eating more greens, but specific ways of prepping, cooking, and eating them to get the most nutritional benefits possible. The special ingredient for this dish is watercress, which contains nutrients that can help prevent cancer. Not only is the dish delicious, it can help prevent disease, and the spiciness will leave you craving more! Chef Tsai is also passionate about the cancer charity Family Reach. Learn more about the nonprofit organization and its mission.

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1 package Rice or mung bean vermicelli
3 Shallots sliced (1/8 inch)
2 bunches Scallions, white part ¼ inch/green part 1 inch, separated
1 lb Naturally-raised ground dark chicken meat
3 tbsp Fish sauce
3 Limes (2 juiced, 1 cut into quarters for garnish)
1 tbsp Honey or agave syrup
2 tbsp Sambal or 3 soaked Thai bird chiles (minced)
1/2 Packed Thai basil leaves
4 cups Packed red watercress
Grape-seed oil to cook
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

In a wok, heat 2-3 cups grape-seed oil until hot. Fry the vermicelli and as it puffs, flip to cook all the noodles. Drain on paper towels.

Transfer the oil into a heatproof bowl or small saucepan to cool and re-use for other uses.

Coat the wok with oil and caramelize the shallots, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, about 2 minutes. Add the scallion whites and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

Add the ground chicken, season lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and break up until cooked through about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the fish sauce, lime juice, honey, and sambal. When chicken is cooked, add in the sauce mixture, scallion greens, and basil. Toss well.

On a large platter, lay out half of the watercress, then top with the noodles, and top with the rest of the watercress. Add the chicken on top and add a few sprigs of watercress for garnish. Serve immediately and enjoy!