Vietnamese Inspired Salad with Lemongrass Chicken

This super easy mid-week meal won’t disappoint! It’s the perfect refreshing summer salad. We’ve served it with lemongrass chicken but you could use prawns or tofu for a vegetarian option.

Meal Prep

Breakdown

  • Marinate the chicken.
  • Prepare all of the salad ingredients.
  • Make the dressing.
  • Cook the chicken.
  • Assemble the salad.

Tips

  • You want to slice the cabbage as finely as possible so it can soften and take on all the flavours from the dressing. Make sure you use a really sharp knife when slicing or even use a mandoline if you have one.

  • The dressing and the marinade use some of the same ingredients. We find it easy to make them both at the same time or to prepare enough of the ‘fiddly’ ingredients like ginger and garlic for each condiment.

Short cut

  • If you're short on time, you can swap lemongrass chicken, use rotisserie chicken, leftover roasted chicken or even smoked salmon.

If you followed the meal prep guide you would have prepared the vegetables (except the cucumber), made the chicken marinade, dressing and roasted the peanuts.

‍This recipe serves four, if you're cooking for two, simply halve the recipe.

INGREDIENTSIngredients

Lemongrass chicken

  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp coconut or brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil + extra for cooking
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 Tbsp powdered lemongrass (or 4 stalks, very finely diced)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 600g chicken thighs (cut into bite-size pieces)

Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger (grated)

Salad

  • 1 carrot (julienned or grated)
  • ½ cucumber (shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler)
  • 1 capsicum (finely sliced)
  • ½ green cabbage (finely sliced)
  • ½ cup coriander (roughly chopped)
  • ½ cup mint (roughly chopped)
  • 1 red chilli (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup peanuts (roasted and roughly chopped)
  • 1 shallot (finely sliced)
METHODMethod
  1. Add all of the lemongrass chicken ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the salad ingredients. Add all the ingredients (except the peanuts) to a large bowl or platter.
  3. To make the dressing, add all the ingredients to a small bowl or jar and shake well to combine and dissolve the sugar.
  4. To cook the chicken, add a little oil to a large pan over medium-high heat; once hot, add the chicken pieces with excess marinade removed (be careful not to overcrowd the pan - you may need to cook the chicken in batches). Cook for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow cooling slightly before adding to the salad.
  5. Time to assemble the salad, add the chicken to the large bowl or platter of veggies, then pour over the dressing; toss well. Lastly, sprinkle over the peanuts.
VARIATIONS

Vegetables

  • Swap green cabbage for red cabbage.‍

  • Add extra veggies like finely sliced snow peas or kale.
  • Swap regular mint for Vietnamese mint.

  • Swap shallot for spring onion or 1 small red onion.

Protein

  • For a vegetarian option, omit the chicken and use 300g firm tofu, cut into cubes. Use the same marinade and pan fry until golden.

  • You can swap out the chicken for prawns, simply pan fry with some fresh chilli, garlic and ginger.

Other

  • Swap peanuts for roasted cashews.

  • To make this salad more substantial you could add some vermicelli noodles.