This Vietnamese chicken salad recipe is authentic through and through thanks to its notes of sour, sweet, salty, and heat. The simple-to-assemble salad of cabbage, chicken, cilantro, and dressing keeps well for several days in the fridge.
This Vietnamese chicken salad recipe is quick, easy, healthy, and pretty darn delicious. It’s authentic through and through and made with simply cabbage, carrots, chiles, peanuts, and cooked chicken (leftovers work spectacularly) tossed in a tangy dressing. And, happily, It makes enough to fill several Mason jars to take to work and make your coworkers jealous or just the right amount to fill a serving dish for a weeknight dinner. Your choice.–Angie Zoobkoff
How To Make This Vietnamese Chicken Salad Even Easier
If you lack the time to slice, dice, and chop vegetables, simply grab a couple bags of premixed coleslaw mix at the grocery store. You know the one—with the blend of green and red cabbage along with a little carrot. It’ll work perfectly in this recipe.
Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Serves 3 to 4
- For the pickled cabbage
- 1 cup (237 ml) distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup (237 ml) cold water
- 3 tablespoons (40 grams) palm sugar or packed light brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound (227 grams) red cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
- 1 large carrot, shredded (about 1 cup or 80 grams)
- 1 Fresno chile (or other hot chile that you prefer), halved, seeded and thinly sliced (about 14 grams)
- 1/2 pound (227 grams) green cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
- For the dressing
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Asian fish sauce
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (38 ml) olive oil
- For the Vietnamese chicken salad
- 3 cups (12 ounces/340 grams) shredded cooked chicken (such as from a roast chicken)
- 1 cup (38 grams) cilantro leaves (or, if you can find it, Vietnamese coriander or rau ram)
- 1/2 cup (71 grams) coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
- Make the pickled cabbage
- 1. Whisk the vinegar, water, sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt together in a medium bowl. Pour half the mixture into a second medium bowl. Add the red cabbage to one bowl along with half the carrot and chile. Add the green cabbage to the other bowl along with the remaining carrot and chile. (Alternatively, if you only want to buy a single head of cabbage, just substitute more green cabbage for the red and mix everything in a single bowl.) Refrigerate the cabbages until pickled, about 1 hour.
- 2. Drain the cabbages, reserving 1/4 cup pickling mixture from the green cabbage.
- Make the dressing
- 3. In a small bowl, whisk the reserved pickling mixture with the fish sauce and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the Vietnamese chicken salad
- 4. If you’re preparing the salad in a single large serving bowl, layer the green and red cabbage mixtures at the bottom of the bowl. Drizzle half the dressing over the cabbage. Top with the chicken, cilantro, and peanuts, and drizzle the remaining dressing on top. Toss gently to combine and serve immediately. (The salad can be refrigerated overnight. Do not toss with the dressing until just before serving.) If you’re preparing the salad in Mason jars, divide the remaining dressing among four 1-pint (473-ml) jars, then layer in the red and green cabbages, followed by the chicken. Top with the cilantro and peanuts and seal the jars with lids. Just before serving, shake each jar to evenly distribute the dressing and serve. (The salad can be refrigerated overnight. Do not toss with the dressing until just before serving.)
Vietnamese Chicken Salad Variations
- Use poached salmon or diced tofu in place of the shredded cooked chicken.
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Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe © 2016 Editors of Food & Wine Magazine. Photo © 2016 John Kernick. All rights reserved.
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