Recently some friends travelled to Vietnam and how I wished they could have packed me in their suitcase! However, they did bring back a little of Vietnam in the form of a cookbook, Vietnamese Food by Bobby Chinn (already a fan) from his restaurant in Saigon. Thank you dear friends… a wonderful foodies gift!
Having indulged recently (not just me) on some home-made bread and desserts it was time to scale down the calories in the household and this Vietnamese Salad made a welcoming change! Not wanting to spend as much time in the kitchen (needing a break), preparing food that is quick and easy without compromising on flavour and taste is first choice.
The taste of this simple salad relies on the freshest ingredients… so no limp herbs, dried out carrots and dry chicken please!
Using a julienne peeler for preparing the carrots for this salad came in very handy but of course you can use a good sharp knife instead!
The original recipe uses birds-eye chillies, but I opted to use medium chillies instead. Depending on your tolerance level to the spicy heat (Scoville scale) of different chillies you may want to de-seed them! You could also make this salad with prawns instead of chicken, replace the basil with mint and scatter over a few roasted peanuts on top, the choice is yours! Bursting with fresh clean flavours this salad makes you feel good after you’ve eaten it and the only shame would be… not to make it!
The recipe below has been adapted from the cookbook Vietnamese Food by Bobby Chinn.
- 4 small skinless chicken fillets, poached (see note below)
- 2 star anise
- fresh chicken stock or make some using a stock cube
- 4 lemon grass stalks, tough outer leaves removed and very finely sliced
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 to 4 medium chillies de-seeded (or not), finely snipped using kitchen scissors
- 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into very fine matchsticks (100g)
- 50g thinly sliced white onions
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
- 100ml of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil (I used Thai basil from the garden)
- 1/4 cup of freshly chopped coriander
Poaching the chicken: Place the chicken fillets in a single layer into a saucepan and pour in some chicken stock to cover, add the star anise. Bring the stock to a gently boil and immediately reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook the chicken for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan with a lid and allow the chicken to further cook in the hot stock for about 20 minutes. Test the thickest part of the chicken to make sure it is cooked through, if not, bring the stock back to a simmer and leave (removing from heat) to cook for a couple of minutes more. When done transfer the cooked chicken fillet onto a plate and cool.
Assembling the salad: Place the lemon grass, spring onion, chilli, carrots, onions and garlic into a mixing bowl. Shred the cooled chicken and add to the mixing bowl. Pour over the lime juice and gently toss all the ingredients together. Next throw in the basil and coriander and gently toss together. Divide the salad between four serving plates and serve immediately. Serves 4.
19 thoughts on “Vietnamese Salad”
The salad looks amazing, delicious and easy to make! Love your photography skills, everything looks yummy! Thanks
Thanks Carolina for the kind comments and the lovely gift! 🙂 🙂
This looks super yummy. And I love the Julienne peeler. That is incredibly cool!
Thanks Casey, a handy kitchen tool to have in your kitchen drawer and it gets plenty of use for salads and garnishes! 🙂
A delicious and refreshing salad! I make something similar with the addition of rice vermicelli.
Rice vermicelli sounds good Lizzy and I bet you make a delicious salad! 🙂
I love Vietnamese salads – yours looks so fresh and refreshing. Gorgeous!
Thanks Christina, will definitely be make some more Vietnamese salads! 🙂
O I’ve been there! I have eaten in Bobby Chin’s restaurant in Vietnam…!! It’s years ago but I remember that the food was fantastic and I’ve been looking at that book a couple of times. The salad looks pretty good!
Thanks Simone, lucky you to have traveled to Vietnam hopefully I will visit at some stage, meanwhile I will have to just use his cook book! 🙂
This salad is right down my street and looks so colourful and appetising! Vietnam is on my travel wish list too, I hear the food is amazing 🙂
Hopefully we get the chance to visit one day and taste all that delicious food! 🙂
What a gorgeous and refreshing salad. I love your julienne peeler. I need one of those!
Thanks Jennifer, I do think the julienne peeler is a handy utensil to have in your kitchen drawers! 🙂
That julienne peeler is just amazing! I had no idea such a thing existed.. I totally need one of those in my kitchen! Thanks for sharing this recipe, it looks perfect for my quick work lunches 🙂
Hope you buy the julienne peeler and I am sure it will get plenty of use for those quick work lunches. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Just decided I needed get in shape, so delighted to find you’d posted such an appitizing salad to get me started.
Must look out for one of thoes peelers, did you get it here in Bahrain? By the way love your blog – it’s a pleasure to read and the photography – beautiful. Thanks Moya.
Thanks for the lovely comments Caroline, yes you can get the julienne peeler in Bahrain, I have seen them in Tavola, Manazel and Lakeland! 🙂