January is usually a time for resolutions where people vow to get healthy and work out more. But I feel like this year most of us are just trying to survive. So I wanted to post up a recipe that is both comforting and healthy. This Vietnamese Chicken Salad or Goi Ga is the ultimate salad in my opinion. I feel like most salads TASTE healthy in addition to being healthy, but this one is different. It definitely tastes like a treat when in reality, it’s full of yummy herbs and vegetables.
What is goi ga?
Goi ga or Vietnamese chicken salad is THE salad in Vietnamese cuisine. It is a cold dish made with chicken, cabbage, Vietnamese coriander (rau ram), and fried shallots, all topped with nuoc cham. While these are the typical ingredients, there are different variations made with other veggies. For example, mine has carrots and red onion for that extra dose of flavor and color. The best thing about this salad is you can get creative with it by adding or swapping out different vegetables. This dish is usually served with Bun Thang, utilizing extra shredded chicken from the soup.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Chicken breast – I love using chicken breast for this recipe, but you can use any cut of chicken you want. If you are low on time, I would even recommend getting a rotisserie chicken instead. Shred it up and use that instead of raw chicken.
- Cabbage – This is the basis of this Vietnamese chicken salad. It soaks up the nuoc cham super well, and adds a meatiness to the dish.
- Carrots – Adds some color to the dish. You can use any kind of carrots for this recipe.
- Red onion – Adds color and flavor to the dish. If you can’t find red onions or don’t like it, I would use shallots instead.
- Vietnamese coriander (rau ram) – One of the biggest flavors in this dish. Rau ram is a very popular herb in Southeast Asia and is only available at certain times of the year. If you can’t find rau ram, I would recommend using mint instead. If you are using rotisserie chicken, I would recommend using mint instead of rau ram.
- Fried shallots – Adds texture and umami flavors to the dish.
- Nuoc cham – This is the dressing for the salad. Get my recipe for nuoc cham here.
Making goi ga
First boil your chicken breasts for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Shred the chicken and set aside. Shred and mince the rest of the ingredients through Vietnamese coriander. Add the shredded cabbage to a large plate. Next add carrots, red onion, and Vietnamese coriander. Top with fried shallots and the shredded chicken. Drizzle nuoc cham over the salad. Let it sit for 10 minutes to let all the flavors distribute evenly before serving.
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Traditional Goi Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Salad)
- Boil chicken breast for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Shred the chicken and set aside.
- Shred and mince the rest of the ingredients through Vietnamese coriander.
- Add shredded cabbage to a large plate. Next, add the carrots, onions, and Vietnamese coriander. Finish it off with fried shallots and shredded chicken.
- Drizzle nuoc cham over the top. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes, so the flavors distribute evenly throughout the dish.