Vietnam-Inspired Chicken Salad

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its vibrant flavors and fresh ingredients that create a harmonious balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy tastes. From the iconic pho to the delightful banh mi, Vietnamese dishes never fail to impress with their complexity and depth of flavor. Today, we’ll explore a delightful creation that showcases the best of Vietnamese cuisine: the Vietnam-inspired chicken salad. Packed with aromatic herbs, crunchy vegetables, and tender chicken, this salad is a refreshing and healthy option that will transport your taste buds straight to the streets of Vietnam.

The Perfect Balance of Flavors

Vietnamese cuisine is known for its emphasis on balance, and the chicken salad is no exception. The salad’s flavor profile combines elements of sweet, sour, and savory with a touch of heat, creating a symphony of tastes that will leave you craving for more. The dressing typically includes fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, sugar, and chili, resulting in a tangy blend that complements the ingredients perfectly.

Fresh Ingredients

One of the defining characteristics of Vietnamese cuisine is its reliance on fresh and vibrant ingredients. The Vietnam-inspired chicken salad is no different. It features a colorful medley of vegetables, including crisp lettuce, sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, and shredded carrots. These ingredients provide a refreshing crunch that contrasts beautifully with the tender, marinated chicken. Additionally, fragrant herbs such as cilantro, mint, and Thai basil add a burst of aromatic flavors to the dish, elevating it to new heights.

Variations and Additions

While the Vietnam-inspired chicken salad is a delicious standalone dish, feel free to add your own personal touch or experiment with different ingredients. You can include sliced bell peppers, crushed peanuts, or even thinly sliced mango for a burst of sweetness. For a vegetarian twist, substitute the chicken with tofu or add sautéed mushrooms for a hearty umami flavor. The possibilities are endless, and you can tailor the salad to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs.

With its vibrant flavors, fresh ingredients, and delicate balance of tastes, the Vietnam-inspired chicken salad is a delightful culinary adventure. This salad captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine, taking you on a sensory journey to the bustling streets of Vietnam. So, the next time you’re looking for a light and satisfying meal, why not try your hand at this refreshing salad? Prepare to be transported to the vibrant world of Vietnamese flavors in every bite.

xoxo, Joe

Vietnam-Inspired Chicken Salad


  • Salad**:
  • 350g/12oz cooked chicken, cut into thin batons (2 large cooked breasts)

  • 6 heaped cups wombok cabbage (Napa cabbage), finely shredded

  • 1/2 red onion, very finely sliced (so it’s floppy)

  • 1 red capsicum/bell pepper, finely sliced into thin batons

  • ▢2 cucumbers , remove seeds then finely sliced into half moons (or 1 long continental/English cucumber)

  • 1 large carrot, peeled then julienned (I use a shredder)

  • 1 large chili, deseeded then julienned, optional

  • 1 cup (tightly packed) mint leaves, large leaves roughly torn by hand (Note 4)

  • 1 cup (tightly packed) coriander/cilantro leaves

  • Dressing
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (sub-light or all-purpose soy sauce)

  • ▢1/4 cup canola oil (or vegetable, grapeseed, peanut)

  • ▢1 tbsp white sugar

  • 1 large garlic clove, very finely minced

  • 2 tsp red chilli, deseeded then very finely minced (bird eye or Thai Red Chilli best)

  • Finishing
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, roasted unsalted, finely chopped (~1/3 cup once chopped)


  • Dressing: Shake Dressing ingredients in a jar. Set aside 10 minutes to let flavors meld.
  • Toss: Place all Salad ingredients in a very large bowl. Pour over half the Dressing and toss well. Set aside 5 minutes (veg will soften slightly, making it more “slaw-like”).
  • Toss again: Just before serving, toss again then add most of the remaining Dressing. Taste then add more Dressing if you want.
  • Serve sprinkled with lots of peanuts!

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