New year’s guilt brings Vietnamese chicken salad

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vietnamesechickensaladWelcome to Merci Mama in 2013.   I hope everyone had an ace Christmas and New Year full of super juicy turkey and glasses of bubbles.  This year we are bigger than ever!

Yup that’s right, the buttons on my pants are screaming and the muffin top overfloweth.


Hands up who’s with me here?  I know I’m not only one.  As I scour my favourite blogs all are brimming with healthy vegetable soups, low fat dips, detox juices when they’re usually pumping out the double fried chocolate-dipped sprinkled with butter goodness and it’s no different here.  Ladies and gents, I think we all feel like we need to give our livers a little respite from the recent indulgence, yeah?


That’s why I’ve got a cleansing, healthy yet bursting with flavour Vietnamese chicken salad recipe for you.  I have poached the chicken here as I love the silky moist texture of poached chicken but feel free to grill or use roasted chicken.  I have also garnished with fried shallots cos a girl needs a little crunch in her life but if you want to take this to the next level of healthiness (you saint!) you can even skip these.

Vietnamese chicken salad

Serves 4

what you need:

  • 500 g chicken breast
  • 1 L chicken stock or water
  • 2-3 slices of ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly sliced
  • bunch of coriander, leaves picked
  • 1/2 head of wombok/chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 telegraph cucumber, grated
  • 1-2 shallots finely sliced
  • bunch of mint, leaves picked and finely sliced
  • handful of chopped peanuts

For the dressing

  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 garlic clover, chopped very finely
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 long red chilli, finely sliced

what to do:

If you’re going to poach your chicken, get yourself a saucepan big enough to hold the chicken breasts in on layer.  Pour in the cold chicken stock and pop in the chicken breasts, ginger slices, garlic and several of the coriander stems/roots.  Bring to the boil then take the pot of the heat and cover and leave for 15 mins.  Check the largest breast to see if it is cooked in the centre, if not, cover and leave for another 10 mins.  This is the chinese way of poaching chicken and results in the silkiest textured chicken EVER!

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into small pieces.

Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, shredded cabbage, carrot, cucumber, shallots coriander and mint leaves.  Drizzle over the dressing and toss.

Garnish with the the peanuts and fried shallots (if using).

Enjoy and feel the fat melt away!

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  • Jessica

    This looks great and is exactly what I need after all the holiday indulgences!

    • Jules

      I know right!!

  • Elizabeth –

    This looks and sounds delicious! I love Asian-inspired salads, and can’t wait to try this one.

    • Jules

      I have no doubt you’ll love it and feel just as good eating it!

  • Tom Allison


    • Jules

      Thanks Tom!

  • Rachel

    Making this tomorrow! Yum!!!

    • Jules

      Good luck!