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Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad

5 stars based on 39 votes

Shredded-Vietnamese-Chicken-Salad

As much as I love salad as a meal, it’s not usually enough for my husband, who is more of a protein/two sides kind of a guy. But I can get away with serving this salad for dinner — it’s satisfying and full of bright, spicy Southeast Asian flavor. It’s easy too. You simply shred a rotisserie chicken, chop some veggies, whisk the dressing and dinner is done. The recipe makes enough for 2-3 main course salads; if you want to stretch it, serve some store-bought crispy spring rolls on the side and Peach Mango Smoothies for dessert.

ingredients

To begin, combine all of the salad ingredients, except for the peanuts, in a large bowl.

salad-ingredients

Next, make the dressing. You’ll need to juice a few limes; an inexpensive juicer like this one is helpful but not necessary.

juicing-limes

Whisk together the fresh squeezed lime juice, Sriracha, garlic, sugar, fish sauce and vegetable oil.

dressing

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.

tossing-salad

Top with peanuts and serve.

Shredded-Vietnamese-Chicken-Salad-1

Note: This recipe originally comes from Saveur magazine but I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it my own. (I omitted the rice vinegar and Thai peppers, increased the lime, and added bell peppers, scallions, Sriracha and peanuts.)

Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad

Servings: 2-3 main dish salads, 4 side salads

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 2 heaping cups cooked shredded chicken, from one store-bought rotisserie chicken
  • 4 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grated or matchstick carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, from about 3 limes
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (preferably a brand imported from Thailand or Vietnam)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. In a large salad bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients except for the peanuts. In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the dressing; whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Right before serving, toss the dressing with the salad. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the peanuts. Serve cold.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 417
  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Sodium: 1169mg
  • Cholesterol: 50mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    I’d just written a review for your Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta when I realized really should pop over here and write a review on this salad. I’ve made this salad multiple times, always with excellent results. A dish has to be real special for me to make it more than once. You’re rapidly becoming my “go to” when doing my weekly menu planning.

    - Sherry on April 6, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe has become a staple at my house. I love that the ingredients are simple and easy to find. I buy the rotisserie chicken breast meat at Costco (in a package on its own), divvy it up and freeze it in bags, then I can pretty much make this recipe on the fly with no special trips to the store. I got my low-carb parents on it, too. Delicious!

    - Katie Daughenbaugh on March 29, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this tonight. Absolutely delicious! Loved all of the different flavors and textures. 5 star!

    - Kiara on March 24, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is one of my favorites! Have made it several times and will sometimes add or swap veggies such as radishes or pea pods or swap the chicken for shrimp, depending on what is in the refrigerator.

    - Renee Watts on February 15, 2017 Reply
  • I just found your site today! I am LOVING everything I am seeing. I quickly subscribed, and I’m looking forward to all that you have in store. All the Best!

    - Julie on January 26, 2017 Reply
    • Glad you like what you see– looking forward to having you as part of the Once Upon a Chef community!!

      - Jenn on January 26, 2017 Reply
  • Best salad ever….No changes required.
    I ate as a meal, nothing else required…
    Just a glass of ice tea!~ Perfection!

    - Paula on December 1, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    We’ve made this a couple times now and it’s delicious. It’s such a fresh tasting salad – with the crunch of the vegetables, the heavy amount of lime, and the peanut topping. It’s perfect for a summer lunch. The only thing we’ve tweaked is taking out the mint and easing up a bit on the fish sauce. I would imagine a better fish sauce might change the experience but I’ve had a tough time finding the good imported stuff. All in all, this is one we’ll keep in the arsenal when summer rolls around again. Very good.

    - Adam B. on December 1, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I doubled the recipe and made this for my work colleagues today and it was a big hit. I usually find the lime is too much for me in Vietnamese sauces, so I put in 1/8 cup of plain white vinegar and then splashed in the lime juice until I was happy with the taste. I will definitely make again. Great for sharing with a crowd as it makes a lot.

    - Trish on November 15, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Outstanding! As my husband was eating this salad he couldn’t get over the taste and kept commenting on it. He voluntarily said, “Out of 10, this salad is a 10!”. Thanks for another great recipe!

    - Laura on November 7, 2016 Reply
  • This was absolutely wonderful and just as authentic tasting as our local Vietnamese restaurant. I loved how fresh and bright tasting it was and the leftovers were still delicious the next day. My husband wants some hot peppers next time but I thought it was perfect without.

    - Jen on October 10, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My family is addicted to this salad. It’s a great summer salad that can be a full meal.

    - Michele on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love this recipe. Have prepared it several times for friends and they love it as well. Yummy, so refreshing and light.

    - Tamara on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I love this salad but instead of peanuts I use unsalted sunflower seeds. Yummy!

    - roz b on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This salad was absolutely amazing, but I shouldn’t be surprised – every dish I’ve tried from onceuponachef.com has been terrific. In fact, I’m so confident of Jenn’s recipes, that I have tried something new when I’ve had guests over for dinner and was not disappointed. Thanks for making me look good Jenn!!!!

    - Tamera on August 12, 2016 Reply
  • This salad is so yummy. My roommate is Vietnamese and she said this is similar to a salad her mother makes. Very authentic! I’ve tried several other recipes on this site: coconut macaroons, roasted brussel sprouts, chocolate chip blondies and they all have been fantastic! Thanks, Jen!

    - Caris on July 22, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Chicken and salad perfection!! Didn’t have a rotisserie chicken, instead marinated boneless skinless chicken breasts overnight in 1/2 cup nuoc mam cham (recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/nuoc-mam-cham-dipping-fish-sauce-103760) “enriched” with a few tablespoons of teriyaki glaze, then grilled. Split the breasts in half lengthwise and followed your instruction to pound each piece to 1/2″ thickness. Thank you for a most excellent recipe!

    - AnneM on July 7, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this last week and my son and husband LOVED it. We have a nut allergy so I used sunflower seeds instead of the nuts and it was fine. I also used Oyster sauce instead of the fish sauce because that’s all I had and it was fine too. Great recipe!!! This is going into my easy dinner list! Thank you :)

    - Chithra on July 1, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was so yummy and refreshing! I used red cabbage instead of napa and really liked it. Every recipe from this site is 5 stars, in my opinion. :)

    - Sandy on June 26, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Loved this – just the right amount dressing. Tastes so good. It’s a keeper! Thanks Jen.

    - Colleen on May 22, 2016 Reply
  • This is an amazing recipe–honestly, every one of yours has been a huge hit in our home–thank you so much! Like some other readers, I have trouble finding Napa cabbage in my local store, but I’ve actually found that romaine lettuce, thinly sliced nearer the heart than the end, is a really good substitute and adds the crunch that you need.

    - Jayne on April 18, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Its not often that everyone likes a meal, but it seems consistent with your recipes that everyone one eats their dinner. Same with this salad. Its a great way to use up baked chicken left overs and a meal so full of fresh healthiness that we feel satisfied but also not overly stuffed.

    - Christina Stone on January 24, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is an amazing salad, everyone from my girlfriends to my sons loved it. It keeps well and is a filling and hearty meal. The dressing is worth the extra effort.

    - Marsha on December 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I make this salad all the time. I throw some of those dried La Choy Chow Mein noodles on top for some added crunch.

    - Carolsue on November 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    One of the nicest Vietnamese salads I’ve made, very fresh, beautiful flavours. Yum!

    - Wendy on November 17, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is our favorite recipe on this site. The rotisserie chicken provides a lot of extra flavor but I’ve also used cubed, cooked chicken breast. My kids also love this recipe, which is saying a lot for cabbage! Thank you!!

    - Katie Daughenbaugh on November 10, 2015 Reply
  • What are good substitutes for the nappa cabbage??? I’m finding it difficult to find here in New Zealand. Thanks!!

    - Nicole on October 5, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Nicole, Are you able to find Chinese cabbage or Savoy cabbage? Those would work well :)

      - Jenn on October 6, 2015 Reply
  • Do you use salted or unsalted peanuts?
    Thanks :)

    - Sharon on September 13, 2015 Reply
    • Salted :)

      - Jenn on September 13, 2015 Reply
  • I really don’t like the taste of cilantro; will substituting parsley dramatically change the recipe?

    - Karen on September 1, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Karen, I would just omit the cilantro or you could try mint or basil (or a combo) as well.

      - Jenn on September 1, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve made this salad nearly a dozen times since I first saw it in the newsletter, and for many guests. A lot of people are afraid of the fish sauce, but it really does make the dressing. If your nervous about it, trust the measurements. 3 Tbsp seems like a lot, but it is delicious on the salad!

    - Merie on August 29, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Dressing is to die for! The flavors are really good and complex too. The dressing is good with fresh spring rolls too.

    - Ryan on August 29, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is one delicious salad for hot summer days!! I make it at least once a week. You can always add extra veggies like sugar snap peas or shredded kale…..endless possibilities?

    - Chris on August 28, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was awesome!

    - Mary McCreadie on August 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was easy and yummy, My husband and I both loved it! Used regular green cabbage because that was what we had on hand. More like 4-5 servings than 2-3.

    - Amy on August 23, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Authentic and delicious! Thanks for the great and simple recipe. I feel like I’m in a Vietnamese restaurant when I’m eating it. 2nd time around I added diced thai chili peppers because I love heat, and some leftover avocado I had in the fridg – made it even better.

    - Megan on August 18, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Another winner! Delicious!

    - Jackie on July 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    How far in advance can I make the dressing?

    - Gretchen Freund on June 29, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Gretchen, A few days is fine. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on June 29, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I did like this salad but the sodium content is too high. I never noticed until now just how much sodium Fish Sauce has. So, next time I will substitute with Hoisin and a little peanut butter. I think it will still be very refreshing. Thank you Jen!

    - Janice J. on June 28, 2015 Reply
    • FYI, There is a lot of sodium in hoisin sauce too.
      Over 1000mg per 2 TBSP

      - Margaret Wilson on October 7, 2016 Reply
  • I’ve made this 3x in the last week- it is delicious & refreshing, perfect for warm weather. I use regular shredded cabbage from Trader Joe’s to make prep even easier, and I keep the salad and dressing separate in the fridge so that I can have it with different proteins over a couple of days. Thanks for the deliciousness!

    - Daphne on June 17, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I was thrilled when our CSA box contained a head of Napa cabbage last week because I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to make. This salad made an excellent week night supper -it was refreshing and light on a hot and humid spring night. The only substitution we made was to use sliced almonds instead of peanuts due to a peanut allergy in the family. Thank you for another winner, Jenn!

    - Liesel on June 15, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We made this dish a few days ago and it was outstanding. However, I re-tweeked the recipe and added a tbs of rice vinegar. We like tangy. Had it for dinner, really nice.

    - Ron on June 11, 2015 Reply
  • Where does all the sodium come from? I’d guess it is the fish sauce and maybe the chicken if was heavily seasoned. That’s almost an entire day’s worth of sodium for my hypertensive hubby, so I’d have to cut it dramatically. If it is the fish sauce, well, I won’t use it anyway as we don’t like it, and I can certainly cook the chicken with a salt substitute I use. For peanuts, I desalinate them as much as I can by pouring them on a terry towel and rubbing them well. I can’t buy them salt free here. No Whole Foods, no Trader Joes, and Penzeys just closed their Orlando area store where I would drive 70 miles to twice a year. I need to move! At least I can get great Mexican ingredients here, or I would feel so deprived, southwesterner that I am. With some obvious changes, I know we’d love this salad, and especially that limey dressing. (I am addicted to your corn/bean salad with chipotle lime dressing! It is to die for!)

    - Barbara on June 4, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Barbara, Yes, it comes mostly from the fish sauce — it is pretty high in sodium. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any great substitute for this salad as fish sauce has a very distinct flavor. Good luck and please let me know if you have any success adapting the recipe :)

      - Jenn on June 5, 2015 Reply
  • When adding mint to these salad recipes, is it peppermint or spearmint?

    - Linda on June 3, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Linda, I have peppermint growing wild in my garden so that’s what I use, but they are interchangeable.

      - Jenn on June 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I knew I had to make this straight away, as I had baked chicken in the refrigerator already. I followed the recipe except for using my own cooked chicken, and packaged cole slaw mix. This was fresh, delicious, quick and a perfect light meal. Will be a great summer dish too!

    - Karen T on May 25, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Loved loved loved this salad. Had it as a main course. No leftovers.

    - Tori on May 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was fab. Added cherry tomatoes. Otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Awesome!!

    - Carolyn Tobin on May 20, 2015 Reply
  • We had the Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad over the weekend. It is fabulous. Great flavors. Thanks, Jenn.

    - Nan Wills on May 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this today for lunch and it was delicious! As always, all your recipes are a big hit in our home! Thank you so much for sharing your talent with the rest of us Jenn!

    - Sophia on May 18, 2015 Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed the salad, Sophia :)

      - Jenn on May 18, 2015 Reply
  • Can someone please tell me what Sriracha is and where to get it?
    Thank you.

    - Kathy on May 17, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Kathy, Sriracha is a Southeast Asian hot sauce — you can get it at most supermarkets.

      - Jenn on May 18, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Rather than a rotisserie chicken I baked the chicken per http://www.onceuponachef.com/2012/06/chinese-chicken-salad-with-sesame-ginger-dressing.html. The salad ingredients were very nice. The salad dressing was just ok. I’m not sure I loved the fish sauce. I think I would have preferred the peanut dressing of http://www.onceuponachef.com/2013/07/thai-crunch-salad-with-peanut-dressing.html which I will try next time.

    - Carol F. on May 16, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this salad for dinner tonight. It was DELISH!!! All the right flavors — the mint, the cilantro and the green onions combine with the dressing to make one tasty salad.

    - Amy on May 16, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    How long will it last in the fridge for? Thinking of making it for lunches for Monday and Tuesday.
    Thanks!

    - Sam on May 16, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Sam, Once you toss it with the dressing, it needs to be be served right away. If you keep the dressing separate, it will keep a day or two in the fridge. Hope you enjoy it!

      - Jenn on May 16, 2015 Reply
  • I love using fresh herbs in a salad! Can’t wait to make this for dinner. The dressing sounds like it would make a great marinade too.

    - Debi on May 15, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Another great recipe. Thanks Jenn! Made this one tonight. Very refreshing and tasty :-)

    - Monica on May 14, 2015 Reply
  • I am allergic to fish. What would be a good substitute for the fish sauce?

    - Southernsweetie on May 14, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made the New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp last night…oh my….yum! Husband loved it! Served with Cheddar Jalapeno Grits with on a bed of sautéed spinach, and of course a French baguette to sop up the juices. Every recipe I have tried from this sight has been phenomenal…thanks Jen:)

    - Debbie on May 14, 2015 Reply
  • I’m loving the looks of this salad but would like to lower the sodium. Any ideas?

    - Lois Greer on May 14, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Lois, You can cut back on the fish sauce or reduce the overall amount of dressing.

      - Jenn on May 14, 2015 Reply

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