Vietnamese chicken & herb salad

A fresh, fragrant, sweet and sour Vietnamese chicken and herb salad with pickled carrot and a spicy dressing.

  • 40 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
  • Print


Pickled carrot
  • 2 cup (500ml) white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 carrot (180g)
Vietnamese dressing
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup (75g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 fresh small red thai (serrano) chilli, chopped finely
Vietnamese chicken & herb salad
  • 1/2 savoy cabbage (600g), shredded finely
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh perilla leaves, shredded finely
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh vietnamese mint leaves, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh thai basil leaves, chopped finely
  • 1 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 4 cup (640g) shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup (80g) fried asian shallots
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) lime juice
  • 1 cup (140g) roasted peanuts


Vietnamese chicken & herb salad
  • 1
    Make pickled carrot; Combine vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Cool. Meanwhile, cut carrot into long thin strips; place in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Add vinegar mixture to carrot. Cover; refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
  • 2
    Make Vietnamese dressing. Combine water, vinegar, sauce and sugar in a small saucepan; stir over a low heat until sugar dissolves. Add garlic and chilli; transfer to a screw-top jar.
  • 3
    Place cabbage and herbs in a large bowl. Drain carrot; add to bowl with chicken, ¾ cup of the shallots and juice. Add 1 cup of the vietnamese dressing; toss to combine. Season to taste.
  • 4
    Pile salad onto a large platter. Scatter with peanuts and remaining shallots. Serve immediately.


Dressing and pickled carrot will keep, refrigerated for up to one month. You will need one large cooked chicken for this recipe. We used a julienne peeler to get extra-long thin strips of carrot. See page 22 for chopping tips. How to poach chicken for salad; Place 3 litres (12 cups) water in a large saucepan with 1 coarsely chopped brown onion (200g), 12 coarsely chopped green onions (scallions), 2 teaspoons black peppercorns and 1 tablespoon sea salt. Cover, bring to the boil; reduce heat to low, simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add a 2kg (4-pound) whole chicken or 2kgs (4 pounds) chicken drumsticks; return to the boil, simmer gently over low heat 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with a lid; stand at least 30 minutes for drumsticks and 2 hours for whole chicken. The chicken will finish cooking in the heat of the stock. Remove chicken from stock, shred; discarding skin and bones. Strain the stock, refrigerate until cold; skim the fat from the surface. Stock can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Use in soups and sauces.

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