Saigon Salad

Since I've been home from LA, I've been thinking about summer. It's coming..really-it is! Here is on of my favorite Summer Salads. The list of ingredients is a bit long, but worth a trip to the store to find them.

Cook Joyfully!!!

Apricot and Miso Glazed Chicken on Saigon Salad


4 skinless-boneless chicken breasts

¼ cup miso (white or red)

¼ cup apricot glaze

¼ cup rice wine vinegar (or Champagne, or sherry)

2 tsp. lemon or orange zest

1 clove garlic- crushed

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken 6-9 minutes per side until fully cooked. MEANWHILE: Combine the next 5 ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until smooth and slightly thickened.  Spread over the cooked chicken and serve.

Note: This works equally well with roast pork, pork loin and chops, salmon, lamb, and wild boar. If you use pork or lamb it is best to use red miso.


1 napa cabbage-finely shredded

1 red bell pepper- julienned

3 green onions-cup into 1 inch pieces

1 large carrot shredded

½ cup chopped cilantro

½ English cucumber-julienned into 1 inch strips

½ cup shredded radishes

1 stalk celery-sliced thinly (leaves and all)

2 Tbs. sesame seeds

½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts

¼ cup fish sauce (or soy sauce)

¼ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup lime juice

1 clove garlic-crushed

2 Tbs. Sesame oil (or veggie oil if you don’t have sesame)

Combine the first ten ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside in the fridge.  Combine the next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl with a whisk. When ready to serve: pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Cut the chicken into strips. Place the salad into four bowls, and arrange the chicken over the salad. Serve immediately.

Amazing Miso
Miso has been eaten in Japan and China for many centuries and has been attracting the attention of many of us because of its health and anti-aging benefits. It's also quite delicious. When you aren't feeling well a bowl of miso soup can be especially soothing.
While it was once thought that soy was the reason for the low rates of heart disease, breast and prostate cancer in Asia, more evidence is now showing us that it is the consumption of traditional fermented soy products (usually eaten every day) that are providing the real benefits.

Traced from ancient China, where it was known as hisio, a seasoning prized by aristocrats, miso was perfected in Japan from the 7th century to today.
Making miso is an art form in Japan. It is made of soybeans and koji, a culture starter made from beneficial molds, yeast and lactic acid bacteria. As long as you choose unpasteruized miso, you will be getting the benefits of live friendly microflora for the health of your inner ecosystem.
There are many types of miso, some made with just soy beans and soy koji (called Hatcho miso, a favorite in Japan) and others made with barley and rice.
No matter which type you choose, this fermented superfood has many health benefits.
Miso Benefits
Many studies have been done on miso, some on humans and some on animals. These studies are showing the following benefits of miso2:
  • Reduces risks of cancer including breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.
  • Protection from radiation
  • Immune strengthening
  • Antiviral -- miso is very alkalizing and strengthening to the immune system helping to combat a viral infection.
  • Prevents aging - high in antioxidants, miso protects from free radicals that cause signs of aging.
  • Helps maintain nutritional balance - full of nutrients, beneficial bacteria and enzymes, miso provides: protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, tryptophan, choline, dietary fiber, linoleic acid and lecithin.
  • Helps preserve beautiful skin - miso contains linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps your skin stay soft and free of pigments.
  • Helps reduce menopausal complaints - the isoflavones in miso have been shown to reduce hot flashes.
Length of Fermentation Matters
Soy protein is hard to digest and takes a long, slow process of fermentation to break it down. Bacteria that can digest soy are much more hardy than the more fragile bacteria used to ferment vegetables, young coconut water and milk products (so while you may love our line of Starters, they won't help you make homemade miso - but they WILL help you make a variety of other probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks.
With miso, length of fermentation matters. Hiro Watanabe, PhD, an expert in developmental biology and cancer prevention in Japan, conducted several animal and human studies using freeze dried rice miso to better understand how miso protects against cancer, radiation and other diseases.
Dr. Watanabe's studies showed that when it comes to healing illnesses like breast and prostate cancer, the ideal length of fermentation was between 180 days (6 months) and 2 years.
Dr Watanabe also found that miso fermented for 180 days is typically a rich color and has plenty of healthy microflora. After 2 years of fermentation, the amount of friendly bacteria has begun to disappear. And while the miso would still a fermented food and is not "spoiled" there is a risk that other pathogens can grow in the miso.
Sipping Miso Soup for Your Health
According to Dr. Watanabe's studies, the sodium in miso did not show adverse affects for people with salt sensitivity and hypertension. Here are the amounts of miso soup he recommended for different health conditions:
  • Cancer - 3 or more cups per day
  • High blood pressure - 2 cups per day
  • Menopause - 1 - 3 cups per day
For health maintenance, follow your intuition when it comes to how much miso soup you enjoy. This delicious, healing food is a great way to nourish yourself to great health!

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