Poached Chicken and Cabbage Salad with Vietnamese Coriander

Gỏi Gà


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    6 to 8

    servings as part of a multi-dish meal

Appears in

Southeast Asian Flavors: Adventures in Cooking the Foods of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia & Singapore

Southeast Asian Flavors

By Robert Danhi

Published 2008

  • About

Soft shreds of gently poached chicken intertwine with cool strips of cabbage, slivers of carrot, and loads of rau ram, an aromatic Vietnamese coriander. All bathe in the classic Vietnamese dressing of lime juice, fish sauce, chilies, garlic, and sugar. Topped with caramelized shallots, this fresh salad is a sure hit for a summer barbeque or dinner party.

If you want a quick tasty (albeit non-authentic) Vietnamese style salad, use a store-bought roasted chicken for this salad, and skip the poaching steps.


  • 1 medium Whole chicken (3 to 4 lbs. or 1.4 to 1.8 kg.)
  • 2 cups Green cabbage, cut into strips, about 2 inches (5 cm.) long and ½ inch (1.3 cm.) thick
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 small Yellow onion, halved through the root end, sliced paper-thin into semi-circles, soaked in ice water 30 minutes, drained well
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minceda
  • ¼ cup Lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. Fish sauce (nước mắm)
  • 2 tbsp. Distilled (white) vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Granulated sugar
  • tsp. Coarsely Ground black pepper
  • ½ cup Shredded or julienne carrot
  • 2 ea. Long red chilies or other hot red chilies, cut into julienne strips, about ⅛ inch (0.3 cm.)
  • 3 cups Vietnamese coriander leaves (rau răm) (Substitute a mixture of mint and cilantro leaves)
  • ¼ cup Fried shallots or store bought


  1. Poach the chicken: In a 2-gallon (8 L.) pot, add enough water to cover chicken. Bring to a vigorous boil; lower to simmer. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface; simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; cover pot and allow to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F or 74°C. Carefully lift chicken from poaching liquid and plunge into ice water. Leave in water for 10 minutes (this stops the cooking and firms up the meat). Pull off skin and discard. Pull meat from the breast, thighs, and legs, tearing it into ¼- to ½-inch (0.6–1.3 cm.) wide strips; set aside 1 lb. (454 g.) for salad. Transfer to covered container and reserve at room temperature. (Optional: recombine bones and poaching liquid, add a few aromatics such as onions, ginger, and lemongrass, and simmer one hour to make a stock for soup or other use).
  2. Salt the Cabbage: Toss the cabbage and salt together, rest for fifteen minutes, squeeze out all excess moisture.
  3. Make the Dressing: In large bowl, whisk together the garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and black pepper.
  4. Final Salad Preparations: Add sliced onions, carrots, cabbage, and chicken to the dressing; toss gently until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning before adding the herbs. Fold in herbs. Transfer to platter, sprinkle with shallots.