My Recipe Box

Vietnamese-Style Chicken Salad


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 94

Dress up grilled chicken breasts with bright Vietnamese flavors. The salad is built off packaged coleslaw mix, enhanced with fresh mint and cilantro, crunchy peanuts, and a sweet-and-salty dressing of fish sauce and rice vinegar.

  • 3 small shallots, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (seed first if you want less heat)
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless, thin-sliced (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick) chicken breast cutlets
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oz. package coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
If you don’t have a grill, you can cook the chicken indoors on a ridged grill pan over medium-high heat for the same amount of time.

Prepare a medium grill fire.

With a mortar and pestle, pound the shallots, jalapeno, sugar, and 1/8 tsp. pepper until the shallots are very soft (but not pureed) and liquid is released. Transfer to a large serving bowl and stir in the vinegar and fish sauce.

Season the chicken with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper and grill, turning once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Let cool and then shred the chicken with your fingers into long thin strips, pulling the meat along its natural grain.

Toss the coleslaw mix into the vinegar mixture. Add the chicken, mint, and cilantro and combine well. Top with the peanuts and serve at room temperature.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is a one-dish meal on its own, but for heartier appetites, pair it with a crisp baguette. Or serve Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango for dessert.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 220, Fat (kcal): 7, Fat Calories (g): 70, Saturated Fat (g): 1.5, Protein (g): 27, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3, Carbohydrates (mg): 11, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 2, Sodium (g): 1260, Cholesterol (g): 65, Fiber (g): 2,

Photo: Scott Phillips

The fish sauce taste did not work for me and I should have doubled the amount of cabbage.

This dish is incredible - so many flavors and textures that come together very nicely. Also very quick and easy. I hardly have made this since we’ve had kids since it isn’t really kid friendy (quite spicy) but I do miss making it!

This is soooo good--our hostess made it at a book club meeting and everyone asked for the recipe. Seems like everyone tinkers with it a bit! She added sliced cucumbers because there were a ton in her garden and some carrots. When I made it I used Nappa cabbage as well as some coleslaw mix that also had carrots in it. Bits of cauliflower or broccoli might not be authentic but would be healthy. Oh, and I substituted cashews as well. Again not authentic but healthy. This is so easy to put together, so good, and so satisfying. We've taken it to potlucks as a salad and/or main dish and it just disappears. A hit with everyone; even picky kids like it as they can take out the bits they like. Mmmmmm, definitely give it a try!

My family loves this salad! Great dinner for a warm summer night. To make it even quicker, I use a cooked rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. The freshness of the herbs and the slightly spicy and savory dressing are delightful. If you haven't made this, you should try it soon.

Loved it, bright and delicious. I used about 14 oz of chopped cabbage and 2 shredded carrots instead of coleslaw mix, and some asian marinated chicken from the butchers. Will definitely make this again.

It tasted like 5 stars and was very easy to make but I gave it four because I added some ingredients. I marinated the chicken in lime juice, soy, ginger and lemongrass paste with a little oil before grilling. I also added lime juice, bean sprouts and cucumber to the salad. I will be making this one again!

I was very pleased with this salad. Fresh tasting!! I am not a fish person but the fish sauce is not fishy at all. Hard to find-I found in at Fresh n Easy.

This is very good! I threw the jalapeno and shallots in the food processor instead of using a mortar and pestle. Also used a 16 oz bag of coleslaw mix and 1 1/4 lb of chicken (since that's what I had in the freezer). Added a little bit more cilantro and peanuts (non-salted so I added a little salt too). The recipe is quick, easy, delicious and good the next day for lunch too!

My new favorite dish!! Low calorie, high protien and packed with flavor. This is my new staple around the house.

My new favorite dish!! Low calorie, high protien and packed with flavor. This is my new staple around the house.

Easy and quick. Made my own coleslaw mix with green and red cabbage and carrot. Used about 8 oz for two servings. Also, didn't have shallots on hand, so substituted red onion. Sliced the chicken breast as I would a flank steak and put on top of the salad mix instead of mixing it all in. Great Asian style salad for a warm summer supper.

Great meal. I now make it about once per month. I've made it with grilled shrimp and always add a crushed clove of garlic and a teaspoon of roasted sesame oil. I have also used cashews for their unsaturated fat content. I'm now adding chopped onion and grated fresh ginger

Nice Fresh Salad. I really liked the mint/cilantro combo. I also added a little crushed garlic, and also a dash of fresh grated ginger. Would be good with shrimp, or even diced leftover chicken, or as is! I like the sesame oil suggestion. Will try that next time.

Definitely used 16 oz coleslaw mix not 6 oz. Great recipe, added a 2nd large jalapeno in addition to the slaw,

Salad was delicious. Just the right amount of flavour. I doubled the amount of cabbage mixture and also added snap peas.

Delicious! I cut the onion in half and added snap peas.

Fresh. Delicious. I have made this several times. Always a hit

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