Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Vietnamese food is one of my all time favorite ethnic cuisines. I know that sounds like a bold statement, but I have never met a Vietnamese dish I didn’t absolutely love. There is a certain lightness to Vietnamese dishes that, combined with intense flavors, makes for a tasty and guiltless meal. One signature dish that most people are familiary with is pho (pronounced fuh), which is a salty beef noodle soup. I love me some pho but I am really partial to this delicious cabbage salad, called goi ga. It combines lots of crunchy veggies with chicken and a salty, spicy dressing.

You can use plain boiled or grilled chicken for this salad, but I decided to dress it up a bit. I marinated some boneless, skinless chicken breast in a lemongrass marinade. The result was an intense flavor that added a lot to the simple salad. I made another recipe with the leftover chicken that I’ll put up later this week.

In other news, we finally planted our garden this week after weeks of sprouting our plants. Right now I have planted tomatoes, basil, butternut squash, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and watermelon. I’ve also got three different varieties of chili peppers and basil. It was a lot of work getting everything prepared and organized, but I am so thrilled with the result.

Have you entered my Cast Iron Skillet Giveaway? It ends on Friday at 5pm!

Full recipe after the jump!

Lemongrass Marinated Chicken:
1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 stalk of lemongrass (about 4-5″ long)
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon (approx 1 tbsp)
4 cloves of garlic
1 Serrano chili – seeded
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, washed
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

Instructions: Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in food processor and puree. Marinate chicken breasts in mixture for at least 3 hours and then grill or bake.

Vietnamese Dressing:
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp brown sugar

Instructions:  Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl and chill until serving time.

1 medium head of green cabbage, sliced or shredded
4 medium carrots, julienne or shredded
1 cup of snow peas, washed and sliced
2 cups of bean sprouts
2 green onions, washed and sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped or crushed

In a large mixing bowl, combine all salad ingredients (except peanuts) and toss thoroughly with dressing to combine. Plate 1/4 of the salad mixture on each plate, top with 4oz of chicken and sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped peanuts. Serve!


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14 Responses to Vietnamese Chicken Salad

  1. D B May 23, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    Looks refreshing!

  2. Colleen May 23, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    I LOVE Vietnamese flavors – they're so light and refreshing. This looks great!

  3. Kim Bee May 23, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    Oh my gosh Dara, this is amazing. It looks positively inviting.

  4. yummychunklet May 23, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    The dressing does sound delicious in this salad.

  5. carrie May 23, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    ummmmmm yeah. can i eat this now please?

  6. CJ - Food Stories May 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    I've never had pho or goi ga … Looks like I've got to get with the foodie program :-)

  7. gobakeyourself May 24, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    What a beauty of a salad – lovely job my friend 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. Dawnye7 May 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Crunchy cabbage? Lemongrass & Serrano Pepper? This is an amazing combination and we're definitely eating this one. Thanks.

  9. Baker Street May 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    The dressing sounds perfect. Can't wait to give this one a try! :)

  10. gastronomic nomad May 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    It looks so authentic! I just finished a bun noodle dish that was leftover from yesterday's lunch and I have to admit, it was the envy of the office. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Jenn Kendall May 24, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    that salad dressing sounds so delicious! and i actually have everything on hand to make it…can't wait to try the salad this weekend!

  12. Tina Bk May 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Between the lemongrass marinade and the sesame plus chili oil in the dressing-this looks to be a tasty winner. Also, tis the season for cold salads-well done!

  13. Kevin May 25, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    You have some really nice flavours going on in this salad!

  14. love2dine May 25, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    Wow this dish looks great! Glad I stopped by!

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