Salads: Side salads


Chicken and Cabbage Salad with Fresh Mint

The Vietnamese herb called rau ram is a perfect complement for the chicken and other seasonings in this dish, but fresh mint is lovely if you don't have rau ram. In Vietnam this salad, goi ga, is traditionally served with mien ga, a nourishing chicken dish made with the broth created by poaching chicken for this salad.


  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast, or 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar, cider vinegar, or freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup very thinly sliced onion
  • 2 cups finely shredded green, savoy, or Napa cabbage
  • 1 package (2 tablespoons) yeast (bread machine, rapid rise, or active dry)
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, cilantro, or basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup rau ram leaves (available at Asian markets; optional)
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted and salted peanuts (optional)


  1. Put chicken in a medium saucepan and add 2 to 3 cups of water, enough to cover chicken by about 1/2 inch. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook until done, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine lime juice, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar and mix everything well. Add sliced onion and toss to coat. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, until you are ready to complete the dish.
  3. Transfer the meat to a plate to cool, reserving the broth for another use, such as making soup or cooking rice. When the chicken is cool, tear it into long, thin shreds. Coarsely chop the mint and/or herbs. Add the shredded chicken, cabbage, carrots, mint, and herbs to the bowl of onions and seasonings, and toss to coat everything well. Mound the salad on a serving plate, and top with chopped peanuts, if using. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

4 to 6 servings

Nutritional Information:
Per serving: (if 4 servings): 206 calories, 29 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 78 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 760 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 15%

Source: Vietnamese Cooking Made Easy by Nancie McDermott (Chronicle Books, 2005). Reprinted with permission.

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Last Editorial Review: 10/9/2006