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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vietnamese Chicken & Cabbage Salad {Goi Ga}

Vietnamese Chicken & Cabbage Salad

it has to be said: i am glad that summer has come to an end. i've lived in hot climates before (um. africa, anyone? southeast asia actually has africa beat...just saying) but the heat these few months spewed sapped me of any energy or motivation. i'm ready to turn the stove/oven back on, tuck into some hearty soups & stews, bake bread with my darling love (we have our eyes set on croissants!) and even finish up some yarn creations.

this particular dish was created, i admit, the cheating way. i did not roast the chicken, i bought it already cooked. it's a perfect summer dish as long as the oven isn't turned on... it's the nuoc mam cham that pulls it together for me, how it coats ever so gently over the shredded cabbage and chicken. then the very subtle touch of the mint along with the crispy fried onions. don't be fooled by how simple this dish is, or that it can only be a warmer months item... can you imagine roasting a chicken in the cold days of autumn or winter, and then shredding it by hand to create this salad, the meat still warm to the touch, your fingers taking the morsels to your mouth more often than adding it to the dish...

i'm looking fwd to it, aren't you?

this is my September entry for Delicious Vietnam, a monthly food event that highlights the wonderful Vietnamese cuisine, created by Ravenous Couple and A Food Lover's Journey. this month was hosted by Phuoc'n Delicious.

Vietnamese Chicken & Cabbage Salad {Goi Ga}

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (you can certainly roast your own bird)
head of cabbage, shredded, i used red for the pretty color & because it was available at the market
bunch of mint, rough chopped (can use whatever asian herbs, basil would work great)
pickled red onions (thinly slice onions and douse with rice wine vinegar & a bit of sugar)
roasted peanuts, crushed, to garnish
fried shallots, to garnish (again, cheating because i bought it already fried)
cilantro leaves, (i actually forgot this, much to my chagrin)
shredded carrots, for color if desired

nuoc mam cham/dressing
1/4 cup of water 
2 TBL fish sauce
3 tsp sugar
1 TBL lime juice
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 tsp rice vinegar
chopped chili

i usually double or even triple this recipe to keep in a container in the fridge. mix all the ingredients well.

to serve, lay the cabbage in big bowl. then layer on the chicken, topping with the pickled onions, mints, peanuts, fried shallots, etc. dress with nuoc mam cham, mix well.


  1. I'm in love with your little petal bowls.

    I love buying a cooked bird when it's not appropriate to roast it yourself. It's well priced (often about the same price as a raw one) and makes a lot of sense if you're going to be using it as an ingredient. Work smarter, not harder!

    I prefer no one watches when I shred a chicken, I put all the bones aside for careful excavation later. There is something very entertaining and rewarding about picking over a chicken carcass!

    It's spring here in the southern hemisphere so this looks like a great salad to ease into the warmer months.

  2. i love cabbage! i am making this!

  3. One of Vietnamese classic dishes! I love the styling, and the light in the photos too! Great job!

  4. Yes please!

    I grew up in Africa, so I know heat! But I'm still not ready to say goodbye to Summer.

  5. bunnyeatsdesign, amen to working smarter, not harder! i hope you keep the bones to make stock. and i am jealous that you're experiencing spring. it's coming on Autumn for us now...

    chapstick fanatic, i hope you enjoy!

    anh - thank you.

    fashionhogger - where in africa? i am surprisingly looking fwd to autumn. my darling boyfriend loves the autumn time and i know it makes him happy.

  6. Yum! Saving this recipe until mid-fall when the peanuts and cabbage will be ready... cilantro grows well in the cool weather too! Perhaps I'll cook up one of our frozen ducks to replace the chicken. Omg now I can't wait.

  7. Nice to meet you through the Delciious Vietnam recap so happy I could be a part of it. Love your shredded chicken and cabbage salad topped with peanuts. Looks so refreshing and sometimes you got to make shortcuts.:)

  8. Your salad looks abundant and amazing! Thanks for sharing.

    I have never tried red cabbage before - is it bitter at all?

  9. aliza, enjoy! it's just one of those recipes that can be eaten with whatever is in season.

    shulie, yes shortcuts are never to be looked down on. unless it's sandra lee and then it's ok. :)

    ginger & scotch, thank you for stopping by. i tried red cabbage on its own last night and i did not detect any bitterness. i'll be honest, it tastes like regular cabbage to me, tho dw can tell a difference. his palate is obviously more refined than mine. ha!