Gok says: "Whether it's catering for a dinner party, birthday party, wedding or the biggest celebration in Asia, Chinese New Year, the look and aesthetic of the food we serve is hugely important. The Chinese have a brilliant knack of paring down even the most complicated of dishes, simply serving them on a three-way palette of black, gold and red. When dressing your delicious food to serve to friends and family, adopt as your mantra Coco Chanel's formidable quote: 'When accessorizing always take off the last thing you put on.' If you employ this simple technique to your food, I guarantee it will look as gorgeous as it tastes fabulous. This dish is so versatile, it works both hot and cold.


  • for the salad
  • 350 g cooked chicken, torn into strips
  • 250 g vermicelli noodles, soaked and drained according to packet instructions
  • 1 medium cucumber, roughly peeled, sliced lengthways, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 fennel bulb, very finely sliced
  • 2 spring onions, cut into matchsticks
  • a small bunch of fresh mint, leaves roughly torn
  • salt and ground white pepper
  • for the dressing
  • 4 tblsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons fish sauce, to taste
  • a pinch of caster sugar
  • 0.5 a fresh long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 0.5 tsp sesame oil


  • Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust as necessary so that you have a harmonious balance of flavours, with none more dominant than the others.
  • Put the salad ingredients into a bowl and mix together, tossing the noodles around to separate the strands and combine them well with the other ingredients. Pour over a little of the dressing and toss. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Put the salad into a serving dish and pour over the remaining dressing, mixing well to coat the noodles.


Extracted from GOK COOKS CHINESE by Gok Wan, out in Hardback by Penguin/Michael Joseph, £20. The book is the official tie-in to Gok’s TV cookery series on Channel 4 which starts on 21st May.

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