One of the most popular Vietnamese salads is Gỏi Gà Bắp Cải. It's a refreshing salad of hand-shredded chicken, cabbage, carrots, onions and Vietnamese coriander; mixed with a sweet and savory fish sauce dressing; and topped with crunchy roasted peanuts and fried shallots. There are many variations of this salad and all are equally delicious. What makes this salad stands out are the different textures and flavors. We have sweet, savory, tangy, and crunchy all on one plate. This Vietnamese chicken salad is often served as a side dish to Chicken Congee (Cháo Gà). The cool and vibrant salad is a nice contrast to the otherwise boring hot congee.
Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe (Goi Ga Bap Cai)
- 2 chicken breasts (use free-range chickens for a more authentic texture)
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1 cup shredded red/purple cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup white/yellow onion (slice thin then soak in ice cold water to remove some of the pungent taste)
- 1/2 cup Vietnamese coriander leaves
- Chopped roasted peanuts (optional)
- Fried shallots (optional)
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves (mince)
- 1 chili pepper (mince)
- Clean the chicken thoroughly by rubbing it with salt then rinsing thoroughly under cold running water.
- Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken and cook for about 20 minutes or when breast is fork-tender and juices run clear. Allow chicken to cool then shred by hand into long thin strips. Set aside.
- Prepare the dressing: Mix together fish sauce, sugar and lime juice until combined. Add garlic and chili pepper.
- Add a little bit of the dressing to the shredded chicken and toss together.
- In a salad bowl, mix together chicken, green cabbage, red/purple cabbage, carrots, onions, and half of the coriander leaves.
- Add remaining dressing to the salad. Toss to combine.
- When ready to serve, top the salad with remaining coriander leaves for a nice pop of color, chopped roasted peanuts and fried shallots.