Vietnamese Chicken Salad by Blanche Vaughan


On Selected Knives

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Blanche Vaughan – Food writer and Chef

The combination of crunchy vegetables, juicy chicken and fine noodles in a sweet, hot, salty dressing topped with crunchy peanuts is authentically Vietnamese, and it tastes as good as it looks. If you want to make the salad ahead, or save some to eat the next day, then add the dressing just before serving.

vietnemese chicken salad

Use a really sharp knife like the Naifu Santoku or Chef’s knife.

Serves 2

15g (a small handful) vermicelli - thin rice noodles

100g or 1 large cooked chicken breast (smoked chicken breast also works well), sliced into small pieces

½ shallot, finely sliced

¼ Chinese leaf or white cabbage, finely sliced

A large handful of bean sprouts

1 carrot, peeled and then shaved into strips using the peeler

2 handfuls of mixed herbs (coriander, basil and mint), roughly chopped

2 tbsp peanuts, roughly chopped (optional for extra crunch)


For the dressing: 

Makes enough for 2 servings – or make a larger quantity and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

2tbsp fish sauce

1tbsp palm sugar, brown sugar or sugar alternative

1tbsp rice vinegar

1tsp lime juice

1tsp lemon juice

½tsp grated ginger

½ hot red Thai chilli, finely chopped

1tsp sesame oil

chopping board

  1. Put the vermicelli in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the other ingredients together well and add the vermicelli, gently untangling the strands as you go.
  3. To make the dressing, mix together the fish sauce with the sugar to dissolve.  Add the other ingredients and stir well. It should taste salty, sour, hot and sweet.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well before serving.


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