It’s always nice to have tasty recipes that don’t require cooking – especially ones that repurpose some of the leftovers you may have in the fridge. While traditional chicken salad is a staple no-cook recipe, it can get a little boring if you’ve been making the same version for years on end. Well this chicken salad is totally different from the classic version. Taking inspiration from a different part of the world, we whipped up this cold Vietnamese chicken salad – and absolutely loved it.
Forget the mayo, celery and raisins (if you like ‘em), and make room for cabbage, mint, cilantro and garlic. Plus, you get to use up old leftovers like that roasted chicken breast and half of a red onion that are tucked into the back of the fridge. Instead of the creamy dressing, this one is lime juice and honey-based for extra zing. Along with a bit of fish sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes for added flavor, this is NOT another boring chicken salad!
Basically, what you’ve got in this chicken salad are a lot of fresh ingredients that add brightness and keep things refreshing. Cabbage, carrots, onion, mint and cilantro, plus the lime juice, honey and garlic make this Vietnamese classic extra flavorful. Throw in a dash of fish sauce – not an ingredient to be too heavy-handed with, but really great flavor in small doses – and get ready for an amazing dish that always delivers. No need to worry about this dish being bland or boring, once you’ve got your ingredients prepped, it’s a breeze to make and will make you wonder why you’ve waited so long to switch things up!
Vietnamese Cold Chicken Salad
30 minutes to prepare serves 8
- 6 cups napa cabbage, shredded
- 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts or cashews, chopped
- 1/4 fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- In a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, water, honey, fish sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- In a large bowl, combine cabbage, chicken, carrots and onion, then toss together to combine.
- Pour dressing over salad, then add in mint and cilantro and peanuts. Toss together until incorporated and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Transfer to serving bowls and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective