Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe: A Burst of Flavors!

What’s up foodies?! Today, I’m excited to bring you my quick ‘n easy Vietnamese chicken salad recipe that will make your taste buds dance with delight. If you love Asian cuisine, this salad recipe is a must-try. Not only it’s light and refreshing, but it also packs a punch of flavors that will leave you wanting more.

I created this recipe when I was looking for a tasty and healthy option to feed my family on busy weeknights. It’s perfect to make ahead and store in the fridge for those days when you’re too busy to cook. The combination of fresh vegetables, succulent chicken, and spicy dressing is just fantastic.

The best part? You don’t need any special skill or equipment to make this recipe. Just a few basic ingredients that you can find at any local grocery store or farmer’s market, and you’re set to go.

So, if you’re ready to take your taste buds on a journey to Vietnam, grab your apron, and let’s get cooking this easy Vietnamese chicken salad recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Quick 'n Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad
Quick ‘n Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Are you looking for a quick and easy meal that’s packed with bold flavors? Look no further than this Vietnamese chicken salad recipe. Trust me, you’ll love it!

One of the reasons this recipe is so great is because it’s incredibly versatile. You can use chicken breasts or thighs, or even shredded rotisserie chicken if you’re short on time. The addition of rice noodles, bean sprouts, and two types of cabbage adds texture and crunch to the dish.

But what really sets this recipe apart is the tangy and savory Vietnamese dressing. Made with fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, sugar, and chili garlic sauce, it gives the salad a bright and zesty flavor that will have your taste buds singing with joy.

Plus, this recipe is perfect for those who are looking for a healthier meal option. It’s low in carbs but high in protein and fiber thanks to the chicken and veggies. And if you’re trying to cut back on calories, simply swap out some of the noodles for more veggies like sliced cucumbers or carrots.

Not only is this dish delicious and healthy, it’s also super easy to make. All you need to do is cook the chicken, boil some noodles, mix up the dressing ingredients, and toss everything together in a bowl. Voila! You’ve got a restaurant-quality meal in under 30 minutes.

So why not give this recipe a try? Your taste buds (and your health) will thank you for it.

Ingredient List

Sure! Here are 11 captions for the recipe:
Sure! Here are 11 captions for the recipe:

Let’s Talk Ingredients

Let me introduce you to the star players in this recipe.

  • Chicken: I prefer using a combination of chicken thighs and breasts for the best texture and flavor. You could also use shredded rotisserie chicken for an even quicker meal.

  • Cabbage: I use a mix of Chinese cabbage, savoy cabbage, and shredded carrots for a colorful and crunchy salad base. You could use whatever mixture of cabbage you prefer.

  • Bean Sprouts: These delicate sprouts add a refreshing crunch to the salad. If you can’t find bean sprouts, shredded lettuce would work as well.

  • Shallots and Red Onion: Shallots offer a mild onion flavor with a hint of sweetness, while red onions add a bite of sharpness. Slicing them thinly ensures that they won’t overpower the other flavors in the salad.

  • Garlic, Chilies, and Ginger: These aromatics are common in Vietnamese cuisine and provide depth of flavor to the dish.

  • Mint: Fresh mint leaves add an herby note to the salad while also helping to cool the palate from any heat from the chilies.

  • Fish Sauce, Lime Juice, and Sugar: The fish sauce gives this dish its unmistakable savory umami flavor, while lime juice adds zingy acidity. The sugar balances out all these flavors and rounds everything out.

  • Rice Noodles: Traditionally used in Vietnamese noodle salads like this one, rice noodles have a delicate texture that works well with the crunchy vegetables. If you don’t have rice noodles on hand, substitute with vermicelli or glass noodles.

  • Peanuts: I love topping this salad with chopped peanuts for some extra texture and nuttiness. But if you’re allergic or just not into peanuts, try cashews or almonds instead.

Of course, feel free to adjust any ingredients based on your personal preferences or what you have on hand.

The Recipe How-To

Now that you know why this Vietnamese Chicken Salad is a must-try recipe, it’s time to dig into how to make it. Trust me when I say that this recipe is not only delicious but also incredibly easy and quick to make.

Marinade the Chicken

The first step is to marinate the chicken. In a medium bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, some finely chopped garlic cloves and chilies, and freshly squeezed lime juice. Add thinly sliced chicken breasts or thighs (or even shredded rotisserie chicken) and set aside for at least 20 minutes.

Make the Vietnamese Dressing

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of lime juice, 1/4 cup of fish sauce, 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of sugar until the sugar dissolves. Stir in some finely chopped chile garlic and shallots.

Combine the Salad Ingredients

In a large salad bowl, combine Chinese cabbage (or any other cabbage you prefer), savoy cabbage or green cabbage, shredded carrots and bean sprouts. Add thinly sliced red onion and some fresh mint leaves.

Cook the Noodles

Cook rice vermicelli noodles according to package instructions until they are tender yet still slightly chewy. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop them from cooking further.

Put Everything Together

Add the marinated chicken to a skillet over medium heat and cook until it’s done. Then combine the cooked chicken with the noodle salad ingredients. Pour the Vietnamese dressing over the salad mixture and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with roasted peanuts or sesame seeds if desired.

That’s it! You’re ready to enjoy your delicious Vietnamese Chicken Salad in no time at all.

Substitutions and Variations

 A burst of flavors in every bite!
A burst of flavors in every bite!

Alright, let’s be real here: cooking can be a real pain in the you-know-what when you don’t have all the necessary ingredients on hand. But don’t panic, my friends! I’m here to tell you that there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make with this recipe without sacrificing flavor.

First off, let’s talk chicken. You can use either chicken breasts or thighs for this recipe. Now, if you’re feeling fancy-pantsy over here, you can even use a rotisserie chicken as a shortcut. How’s that for easy-peasy?

Next up, let’s talk cabbage. If Chinese and savoy cabbage aren’t your jam, feel free to substitute with regular green cabbage, or even kale or romaine lettuce. The world is your oyster!

Bean sprouts are another key ingredient in this recipe, but if you can’t find them or simply don’t like them (hey, it happens), just leave ’em out! No biggie.

Shallots and red onions add some nice flavor and crunch to this dish, but if you’ve run out or just don’t have them on hand, you can substitute with thinly sliced scallions or chives.

Now let’s get to the dressing. This one is a little trickier because fish sauce is such a quintessential ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine. But if you’re vegetarian or vegan and want to skip the fish sauce, feel free to substitute with soy sauce (use a bit less than the amount of fish sauce called for in the recipe) or even coconut aminos.

Lastly, peanuts are a nice optional addition to this salad for an extra bit of crunch and flavor. However, if you have a peanut allergy or simply don’t care for them, you can leave them out!

So there you have it – some handy dandy substitutions and variations for this quick and easy Vietnamese chicken salad recipe. Get creative and make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect lunch salad to keep you fueled all day!
The perfect lunch salad to keep you fueled all day!

As a chef, I want to make sure that every dish I serve is not only delicious but also aesthetically pleasing. That’s why I love this Quick ‘n Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe – it looks as good as it tastes!

When you’re ready to serve the salad, you can either plate individual servings or place the entire salad in a large serving bowl. Garnish with chopped peanuts and a few sprigs of fresh mint for an extra special touch.

This salad is perfect as a light lunch or dinner on its own, but it also pairs well with other dishes. If you want to make it a more substantial meal, you can serve it alongside some vermicelli noodles or rice on the side. The combination of the cool salad and warm noodles makes for a refreshing and satisfying meal.

If you’re having guests over and want to impress them with your culinary skills, this Vietnamese Chicken Salad pairs perfectly with grilled shrimp or pork chops. The fresh flavors of the salad beautifully complement the smoky flavors of grilled meats.

For an extra burst of flavor, consider adding some nuoc cham, a classic Vietnamese dipping sauce made with fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic and chilies. You can either drizzle it over the top of the salad or serve it on the side for dipping.

Overall, this Quick ‘n Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other dishes for a complete meal. With its bright colors and flavors, it’s sure to impress your guests and please your taste buds!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The vibrant colors of this salad will make your heart sing!
The vibrant colors of this salad will make your heart sing!

Listen up, my fellow chefs! Now, I know that cooking a delicious meal can be time-consuming, and sometimes we don’t have the time or energy to whip up something from scratch every night. But fear not! This Quick ‘n Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe is perfect for meal prepping and can easily be made ahead of time.

When it comes to make-ahead meals, this Vietnamese chicken salad recipe is a winner. The vegetables can be chopped and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, if you are using bean sprouts, I recommend washing them immediately before eating.

As for the chicken, you can cook and shred it ahead of time, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure to allow the chicken to cool down completely before packaging it up.

For the dressing, you can make it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days! Just give it a good mix before serving.

Now let’s talk about reheating. Since this is a cold salad recipe, there’s really no need to reheat anything. However, if you prefer your chicken warm, you can easily heat it up in the microwave or on the stove. Just be sure not to overcook it as it will become dry and tough.

I personally love making this salad ahead of time for easy lunches throughout the week. It’s refreshing and satisfying at the same time. And with these make-ahead tips, you can enjoy this dish without spending too much time in the kitchen. Go ahead and give it a try!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Fresh ingredients make all the difference, and this salad is no exception!
Fresh ingredients make all the difference, and this salad is no exception!

When it comes to making the perfect Vietnamese chicken salad, attention to details is key. Here are some tips that can help you nail down this recipe:

1. Poach the Chicken for Perfect Tenderness

To achieve the best texture for your chicken, poach it instead of baking or frying. Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and then turn the heat down to low. Add the chicken breasts or thighs and let them cook for 8-12 minutes, depending on their size. Once done, remove from heat and place in a bowl of ice-cold water to stop the cooking process.

2. Shred Your Chicken in Thin Strips

Shredding your chicken into thin strips ensures that each bite is tender with flavor in every shred. Use two forks to pull apart the chicken or chop it into small pieces with a sharp knife.

3. Don’t Skimp on Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs, such as mint and coriander, are essential ingredients that give Vietnamese chicken salad its distinct flavor. The fragrant aroma of mint adds brightness to any dish, while coriander’s citrusy flavor enhances the zesty lime dressing.

4. Balance Flavors with Fish Sauce and Lime Juice

Fish sauce and lime juice make up the signature tangy dressing of Vietnamese cuisine. To achieve that perfect balance between savory and sour flavors, start by mixing equal parts of fish sauce and sugar until dissolved. Then add freshly squeezed lime juice until all ingredients are well-combined.

5. Customize Your Salad with Toppings

Mix and match different vegetables, such as thinly sliced cabbage, bean sprouts, or shaved carrots, to add texture and crunch to your salad. You can also sprinkle roasted peanuts or drizzle chile garlic oil over your dish for added flavor.

By using these tips, you can create a dish that embodies the refreshing flavors of Vietnamese cuisine in each bite. So grab your aprons and start experimenting with your own variations of this quick ‘n easy Vietnamese chicken salad recipe.

Bottom Line

, my fellow foodies, this Quick ‘n Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad recipe is one of my all-time favorites! With the perfect balance of tangy and savory flavors, this salad is a delicious and healthy option for lunch or dinner. Plus, with its easy-to-find ingredients and simple preparation, you can whip it up in no time.

I highly recommend using fresh herbs like mint to give that extra burst of flavor, along with your preferred cabbage variety, bean sprouts, and shallots for added texture. And don’t forget the key players behind this salad’s zing: fish sauce, lime juice, ginger, chilies, and sugar!

Whether you’re looking to switch up your usual salad routine or try out a new recipe for a potluck gathering or weeknight meal, this Quick ‘n Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad will not disappoint. So get out there and give it a try – your taste buds (and your body) will thank you!

Quick 'n Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Quick 'n Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe

This light and refreshing Vietnamese Chicken Salad is really quick to make. It can be eaten alone as a light meal or served as a main meal, over steamed rice. Because I don't like my food too spicy, I omit the chilli, but I've left it in the ingredients listed. Some will no doubt want to increase the spiciness. When serving it to others, I've doubled the recipe and made two versions: one spicy, one not. And been very careful not to mix them up, by putting them in colour-coded serving bowls! Both versions have been eaten with enthusiasm, both by those who are familiar with Vietnamese cuisine and those who are not. Adapted from Lulu Grimes' book "Food: buy it fresh: Cook: cook it simply; Eat: eat it now". If you are serving this salad to guests, and planning ahead, it's worth going to an Asian greengrocer's and buying the authentic ingredients.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 179.1 kcal


  • 2 chicken breasts or 2 chicken thighs, cooked, boned, skinned, roughly shredded
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 chilies, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots or 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 cups Chinese cabbage or 2 cups savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons vietnamese mint or 4 tablespoons mint, finely chopped


  • Mix together the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, ginger, chilli, garlic and shallots (or red onion).
  • Plunge the bean sprouts into boiling water for 10 seconds, drain them and rinse under cold water to stop them from cooking any further.
  • Mix the bean sprouts with the Chinese cabbage, Vietnamese mint and chicken.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss all the ingredients together until they are well combined.
  • Serve as a light meal, or as a main dish over steamed rice.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 221gCalories: 179.1kcalCarbohydrates: 11.7gProtein: 18.7gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 46.4mgSodium: 752.2mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 5.4g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Asian, Chicken, Chicken Breast, Easy, Free Of..., Lactose-free, Meat, Poultry, Vietnamese
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