Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Bold flavors star in this Vietnamese salad—acidic lime juice, hot pepper, salty soy sauce, and cooling herbs. The combination of mint and cilantro is typical and refreshing, but you can use only one herb, or leave them both out completely if you prefer.

Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4)
  • 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 4 scallions including green tops, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds green cabbage (about 1/2 head), shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh mint and/or cilantro (optional)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts

How to make this recipe

  1. Cut each chicken breast into five diagonal strips. In a medium saucepan, combine the broth, 1/4 of the scallions, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a simmer, add the chicken, stir, and cover the pan. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the chicken steam for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and shred it.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, the remaining scallions, the cabbage, carrots, and 4 tablespoons of the herbs, if using. In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, red-pepper flakes, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss the salad with the dressing. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons chopped herbs and the peanuts.


Asian fish sauce is available at Asian markets and some supermarkets.

Serve With

This crunchy, Asian-flavored salad will taste even more refreshing served with tropical fruit, such as pineapple, mango, papaya, or star fruit.

Suggested Pairing

A lively, acidic white wine that has no oak flavor will be best with the spices and greens in this dish. Try a Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa or Australia or a Pinot Grigio from Italy.

Photo © Pernille Pedersen Published August 2011

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