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Vietnamese Chicken Salad (Goi Ga Bap Cai)

The Gourmet Gourmand
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 6 Servings


For the Poached Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • 1 large knob ginger peeled
  • 2 scallions roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

For the salad

  • 1/4 head green cabbage shredded
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • 1/2 small sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thai basil (I used whole leaves)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped

For the Dressing

  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalepeno minced (or more, to taste)
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

For the Add-Ins

  • 1/3 cup toasted peanuts roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fried shallots packaged, or homemade (for homemade see directions below)


To Poach the Chicken

  • In a saucepan, add chicken breasts, ginger, scallions, and salt. Add just enough water to cover chicken. Bring to a boil, then immediately cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
  • Remove chicken and set aside. Let chicken rest and cool before handling.
  • Once cool enough, shred chicken into thin pieces using your fingers. Store in a bowl and place in refrigerator to chill while you prep the other ingredients.

If Frying your own Shallots

  • Thinly slice 1 shallot. Heat about 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and fry, watching closely, watching for them to turn a golden color. Quickly remove from oil using slotted spoon and allow to drain on a paper towel. Set aside.

For the Dressing

  • In a bowl or mason jar, combine lime juice, garlic, jalepeno, sugar, and fish sauce. Whisk or shake to combine thoroughly.

To Make the Salad

  • Place onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes or so (this lets the onion flavor mellow just a bit). Drain before using.
  • In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots, herbs, soaked onion, and shredded chicken.
  • Pour dressing over the entire salad, and toss to combine.
  • Add peanuts and fried shallot just before serving. Enjoy!


Here's a link for fried shallot if you don't feel like making your own! (Time saver for sure).
If you are making in advance, combine all ingredients except dressing and add-ins (peanuts and shallots).  Add these just prior to serving to make sure everything stays crunchy and fresh!
Keyword Vietnamese Chicken Salad, Go Ga Bap Cai, fresh herbs, thai basil, mint, healthy, asian, lunch