Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Experience a burst of bold flavors in our Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad! Fragrant mint, crunchy peanuts, and zesty lime juice elevate this dish to a new level of deliciousness and it is ready in 15 minutes!

Vietnamese chicken and cabbage salad on a serving platter.

Get ready for a taste sensation with the Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad! This dish is a real game-changer. Juicy, seasoned chicken mixed with crunchy, cool cabbage – it’s a combo that’s sure to get your taste buds excited. The magic really happens with the dressing – a perfect mix of zesty lime, a hint of honey, and rich fish sauce that brings everything to life. It’s like a little bit of Vietnam in every bite.

But wait, there’s more! This salad is topped with goodies that make it even better. Fresh mint leaves give a pop of freshness, and roasted peanuts add a great crunch. Like a bit of spice? A sprinkle of chili flakes can add some heat. This salad is perfect for a light lunch or a tasty side dish. It’s a sure winner for any occasion. It’s healthy, delicious, and super satisfying!

Chicken and cabbage salad topped with fresh mint.

History of Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad, known as “Goi Ga Bap Cai” in Vietnam, showcases the country’s culinary traditions influenced by Chinese and French cuisines. This salad often features Vietnamese coriander, onions, and other common salad ingredients. It also represents a blend of flavors and textures. The cabbage adds a crisp base, while the dressing balances sweet, sour, salty, and savory tastes. This dish enjoyed globally, reflects Vietnam’s commitment to delicious, nutritious, and visually appealing cuisine. Local markets and kitchens worldwide celebrate it as a symbol of Vietnamese culinary heritage.

Reasons to Love Vietnamese Chicken Salad

  • Combining zesty lime, sweet honey, and fish sauce creates a flavorful meal.
  • The tender chicken and nutty peanuts keep every bite interesting.
  • Vietnamese Chicken Salad is fresh and healthy.
  • This dish is easy to make.
  • It’s adaptable to personal tastes – spice it up with chili flakes or add more veggies for a twist.

Recipe Ingredients

Vietnamese chicken and cabbage salad served on a table.
  • Chicken Breasts: The chicken offers a mild, slightly savory flavor and a tender texture.
  • Shredded Green Cabbage: Cabbage provides a crunchy texture and a fresh, slightly peppery taste. It’s a key ingredient for adding volume and a crisp mouthfeel.
  • Carrots: Grated carrots bring a gentle sweetness and an earthy note to the salad.
  • Lime Juice: The freshly squeezed lime juice adds a bright, citrusy acidity. It balances the flavors and enhances the overall freshness of the dish.
  • Mint Leaves: Mint contributes a cool, refreshing herbal flavor, which is a signature element in many Vietnamese dishes. It adds a burst of freshness to each bite.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Tofu instead of Chicken: For a vegetarian twist, use firm tofu in place of chicken. It absorbs flavors well.
  • Red Cabbage for Green Cabbage: Swap green cabbage with red cabbage for a colorful variation. Red cabbage has a similar flavor profile and crunch.
  • Almonds for Peanuts: Use roasted almonds instead of peanuts. They’ll still give that nutty crunch and are a great alternative for those with peanut allergies.
  • Fresh Herbs: Replace mint with basil and throw in some fresh cilantro. Basil adds a sweet, slightly spicy taste, and cilantro brings a zesty, lemony flavor, making the salad even fresher and more flavorful.
  • Honey for Sugar: Replace white sugar with honey for a natural sweetener. Honey’s subtle floral notes can add a delightful depth to the dressing.

How to Make Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Step #1: Toss the chicken, shredded cabbage, scallions, and carrots together in a large bowl.

Step #2: In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and vinegar until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Step #3: Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat.

Step #4: Fold in the peanuts and mint. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Vietnamese chicken and cabbage salad on a serving platter.

Expert Tips

  • Poach Chicken Gently: Poach the chicken gently in simmering water to keep it moist and tender.
  • Shred Chicken Finely: Shred the chicken finely for better integration with other ingredients and even flavor distribution.
  • Balance the Dressing: Taste and adjust the dressing for a perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty, and umami flavors.
  • Roast Peanuts for Extra Flavor: Lightly roast the peanuts for a deeper, nuttier flavor.
  • Thin Slices of Cabbage: Slice the cabbage thinly to achieve a delicate texture and improve its ability to soak up the dressing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if the chicken is cooked properly for the salad?

Ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked, displaying a uniform white color with no traces of pink and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

How do I get the chicken to be tender in the salad?

Opt for poaching or gentle cooking methods to maintain the chicken’s tenderness and juiciness in the salad.

What’s the best way to shred the chicken?

Use two forks or a knife to finely shred the chicken, ensuring a consistent and enjoyable texture in the salad.

Can I use rotisserie chicken for this salad?

Yes. Rotisserie chicken adds a flavorful twist to the Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad. Simply shred the tender meat and incorporate it into the vibrant mix for a delicious and time-saving option.

Storage Info

Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad is best enjoyed fresh, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. It’s not recommended to freeze this salad, as the fresh ingredients like cabbage and herbs become soggy upon thawing.

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Vietnamese chicken cabbage salad on a platter.

Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad Recipe

Experience a burst of bold flavors in our Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad! Fragrant mint, crunchy peanuts, and zesty lime juice elevate this dish to a new level of deliciousness and it is ready in 15 minutes!
4.5 from 45 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Diet: Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 175kcal
Author: Linda
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breasts
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 3 scallions - sliced
  • 2 medium carrots - grated
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped salted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped mint leaves
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Instructions

  • Toss the chicken, shredded cabbage, scallions, and carrots together in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and vinegar until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat.
  • Fold in the peanuts and mint. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

NOTES

Storage Info:
Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad is best enjoyed fresh, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. It’s not recommended to freeze this salad, as the fresh ingredients like cabbage and herbs become soggy upon thawing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 858mg | Potassium: 588mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5377IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg

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About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

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Comments:

  1. Holy cow, this hit the spot on a hot summer day. Super simple. I added matchstick red peppers and followed the rest to the letter; the dressing is easy to throw together and SO savory and good—I pretty much licked the bowl. A keeper!