South Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Happy New Year!

I know, I know – long time, no post… even though I’m on holiday, I still feel like I’m pretty busy, and so I’ve wanted to spend my free time relaxing and reading books.  And I’ve always said that I wouldn’t blog if it felt like a chore.

I haven’t actually done too much cooking these holidays – we’ve been eating out a lot, catching up with friends and family.  As a result, I really felt like making something for dinner which was fresher and lighter than what we’ve been eating lately.

Hubby bought me a new cookbook for Christmas – Little Vietnam, written by Nhut Huynh.  (He admits that the photo of the fried chicken on the cover was what got his attention.)  When I saw this chicken salad, it looked like it had all the flavours I love about South East Asian food.

If you don’t have time to poach a whole chicken, you can always cook up some chicken breasts and shred that up.  This is a great summer dish if you’re looking for a salad full of sour, salty and sweet flavours with plenty of crunch.


South Vietnamese Chicken Salad


South Vietnamese Chicken Salad – Ga Xe Phay


Ingredients for salad

1 small whole chicken, cleaned


50g ginger

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1/2 cabbage, shredded

1 small red onion, halved lengthways and thinly sliced

1 C mixed herbs such as mint and coriander (the original recipe also suggests perilla and Vietnamese mint)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1-2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped

1 1/2 Tbsp fried shallots, plus 2 teaspoons extra to serve (make your own or buy these from an Asian grocer)

1 1/2 Tbsp crushed roasted unsalted peanuts, plus 2 teaspoons extra to serve


Ingredients for dressing

1/8 C caster sugar

50mL boiling water

25mL fish sauce

50mL white vinegar or lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, finely chopped

1-2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped


South Vietnamese Chicken Salad



To make the dressing, dissolve sugar with the boiling water and stir to combine.  Add fish sauce and vinegar and leave to cool.  Then mix in the garlic and chillies.

Put the ginger, onion and 1 Tbsp salt in a stockpot with 2 litres water, and bring to the boil over high heat, then add chicken.  Bring back to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, skimming to remove fat.  Reduce heat to very low and cover with a lid, then simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and leave to stand with lid on for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove the chicken from the stock and allow to cool.

Shred the chicken meat (it’s up to you if you want to include the skin) and discard the bones.

Mix the remaining ingredients along with the dressing in a large bowl, then add chicken and toss well to combine.  Scatter with the extra fried shallots and crushed peanuts and serve.


South Vietnamese Chicken Salad



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