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Put the chicken in a large heavy pan or flameproof casserole, then add the ginger, spring onions and garlic, plus a good sprinkling of salt. Cover with water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat, then cover tightly. Simmer the chicken for 1-1¼ hrs until tender. Leave to cool for 15 mins, then remove the chicken from the pan and strip off the meat. (The stock can be cooled and frozen for soups, sauces and casseroles.) Tear the chicken into bite-size chunks, then leave to cool.
Put the noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 4 mins, drain, rinse in cold water, then return to the bowl. Use a scissors to snip into short lengths, then toss with the oil to stop them sticking together.
Cook the asparagus for 3-4 mins in boiling salted water, then tip into a sieve and cool under cold running water. Drain well. If using green beans, cook them with the asparagus. If using sugar snaps, they won’t need to be cooked.
To make the dressing, mix the lime juice with the sugar until it has dissolved. Add the fish sauce and chillies, then mix well. To serve, put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl with most of the basil and mint leaves. Pour over the dressing and toss everything together well. Pile into a large serving bowl, then scatter over the peanuts and the remaining basil and mint.
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