Simple Chicken Salad with Vietnamese Dressing

This very simple chicken salad with Vietnamese dressing is both colourful and delicious. The salad is super easy to prepare and makes a perfect light and healthy meal for yourself or the family!

Life Update – An Awkward Trip to Daycare

Before I get into this post, I want to share something happening in my personal life. There are a few days each month where I have to walk to Maddy’s daycare to pick her up. The first time I had to do this Steph thought it would only take me 10 minutes, but it took 25 and I was sweating bullets from carrying Maddy in my arms all the way home!

Steph’s next great idea was “Why don’t you take the stroller?” This put me in a precarious situation where I was pushing an empty stroller for the first half of the trip. Most of the locals took one look at the empty stroller and my dishevelled appearance and probably thought I was crazy. I had to avoid eye contact with EVERYONE.

Then I figured I could just fold it up and carry it with me. I lasted a quarter of the trip and then ended up reliving my nightmare by pushing it the rest of the way. So now I am in a predicament…. to stroller… or not to stroller? I know I am going to suffer either way but which is worse?

Simple Chicken Salad with Vietnamese Dressing

A few weeks back, I was in the process of writing up a post for traditional Vietnamese cabbage salad, when I was introduced to something much more colourful. I was so overcome by how much prettier the salad was that I decided to fuse them together and create my own.

I originally used pork belly in this because it tastes so good but in the end chose to go with chicken breast. It is just so much cheaper and a LOT better for your health. However, if you like to live a little from time to time then I strongly suggest you give pork belly a go.

The Asian Herbs

The fresh Thai basil and Vietnamese mint really elevate this salad to the next level. Unfortunately, most mainstream grocers in Australia are yet to stock many of these Asian herbs. I highly recommend you try and source these ingredients from your local Asian groceries if you have access to one.

The Vegetables

I choose these specific vegetables for the colours, crunch and taste, but there are many other combinations that would work. This is a great recipe for using whatever veggies you have leftover in your fridge. You can also save time by buying a ready made Asian salad mix from your grocers.

You want to keep vegetables as dry as possible to keep the intensity of the dressing. If you are wondering if I am one of those people who dries their salad in a spinner… I am. And proud of it! But patting your vegetables dry with a paper towel will be more than sufficient.

Carrots, Purple Cabbage, Bean Sprouts and Lettuce

The Vietnamese Salad Dressing

This salad dressing is very similar to my Vietnamese dipping sauce recipe.

Vietnamese dipping sauce is basically the lifeblood of many traditional Vietnamese dishes. The sauce is predominantly made with sugar, fish sauce and lime juice which gives it the classic south east Asian flavour combination of sweet, salty and sour.

You should make this dressing at least one day beforehand to allow the flavours to develop. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Salad Assembly

This chicken salad with Vietnamese dressing is as simple as putting the ingredients in a salad bowl and tossing it all together.

You should only dress the salad when you are ready to serve to keep the vegetables nice and crunchy.

This salad is a great meal to have when you need something quick. This is because all the components can be made beforehand and kept in the fridge. As soon as you need, just put everything together and toss!

Recipe Cost

This table shows how much this recipe will cost if you had to go out and buy everything on the ingredients list (“Shop Price”), as well as the value of ingredients actually used in the recipe (“Recipe Cost”).

We haven’t bothered with small quantities of salt, pepper or sugar as the cost would be negligible. All prices are in Australian dollars and are based off what was published on Coles Online or Woolworths Online as at time of writing.

Servings: 2 – 3

Recipe NeedsRecipe
4 pack @ $9/kg$9.001 (250 gm)$2.25
Baby Cos
2 pack$3.00125 gm$0.75
Carrot1 at $2.20/kg$0.371/2 (80 gm)$0.18
Cabbage1/2 a head$2.70100 gm$0.20
Bean Sprouts1 pack (250 gm)$2.00100 gm$0.40
Garlic1 bulb at $25/kg$1.501 clove$0.15
Fish sauce300 ml bottle$3.003 tbsp (45 ml)$0.45
2 L bottle$1.201 tsp (5 ml)$0.01
Lime Juice2 at $0.80 each$1.602 tbsp (1 and a half)$1.20
Total$24.37 $5.59

Other Salad Recipes You Might Like

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Simple Chicken Salad with Vietnamese Dressing

Simple Chicken Salad with Vietnamese Dressing

A simple chicken salad with the popular Vietnamese nuoc mam dressing that is both colourful and delicious. The salad is super easy to prepare and makes a perfect light and healthy meal for yourself or the family!
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Light Meal, Lunch
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 3 people
Calories 183 kcal


  • 1 chicken breast
  • crispy noodles (optional)

Salad Mix

  • 100 gm cos lettuce or your choice, roughly chopped
  • 100 gm carrot, grated or cut into matchsticks
  • 100 gm purple cabbage, shredded
  • 100 gm bean sprouts
  • 10 Vietnamese mint leaves, torn (Optional but highly recommended)
  • 10 Thai basil leaves, torn (Optional but highly recommended)


  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped (optional)


  • In a pot, boil plenty of water and cook the chicken breast for roughly 20 minutes.
  • In a bowl, add the hot water and sugar. With a spoon, dissolve as much sugar as possible.
  • Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and combine well. Cover with cling wrap and leave aside until needed.
  • Cut up all your vegetables and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
  • After 20 minutes, take out the chicken and check if it's done. If it is, let the chicken cool then cut into small pieces. If not, put it back into the water until done.
  • Once the chicken is cut up into pieces, add 2 tbsp of dressing into the chicken and gently toss.
  • In a salad bowl, mix all the salad ingredients and chicken pieces together.
  • Add a 3 tbsp of dressing and toss through. Check the seasoning and add more dressing according to your taste.
  • Garnish with crispy fried noodles (if using).


Calories: 183kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 19gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 1538mgPotassium: 650mgFiber: 3gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 8937IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Chicken Salad, Nuoc Mam, Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
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4 thoughts on “Simple Chicken Salad with Vietnamese Dressing

      1. Good news πŸ˜„ I’m glad it worked…although you may have to explain if someone sees you take the muslin off and no baby πŸ˜‚ I had the worst glass noodle salad I’ve ever had in my life today 😭 it was swimming in this weird gravy that tasted like calpol! I’m still feeling sick thinking of it. I may have to rethink my menu for the weekend to remind myself what it should taste like!

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