How to make: Vietnamese chicken salad

Think cole slaw but with chicken, nuts and fresh herbs. And with no mayo. Doesn’t sound like cole slaw anymore? That’s okay. This Vietnamese chicken salad is better than cole slaw.

Bias of an Asian? Maybe. Maybe not. With the chicken, this salad is more filling and a large portion can be a complete meal. Then, there’s the matter of the fresh herbs. How can anything compete with that?

And, if that’s not enough, there’s all the crunch from the nuts. And the crisp onion slices that are sprinkled on the salad before it is served.

And the dressing? Oh, it’s that wonderful nuoc cham that makes just about everything tastier.

Recipe: Vietnamese chicken salad


  • 3 to 4 chicken thigh fillets (broiled, poached or grilled)
  • 2 to 3 c. of shredded white cabbage
  • 1/2 to 1 c. of coarsely grated carrot
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 to 4 tbsps. of toasted nuts (peanuts, cashew nuts or pili nuts are all great choices)
  • sliced or torn herbs (lemon basil, mint and cilantro are my choices)
  • thinly sliced scallions
  • 4 to 6 tbsps. of nuoc cham (get the recipe)
  • fried onion slices, homemade or store bought


  1. Thinly slice the chicken. Or shred by hand.
  2. Place the cabbage, carrot and onion in a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken, and half of the nuts, herbs and scallions.
  3. Drizzle in the nuoc cham.
  4. Toss everything together.
  5. Divide the salad among bowls. Sprinkle with the fried onion slices and the rest of the nuts, herbs and scallions.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2 to 3 Vietnamese chicken salad