I love city living.
Part of me has always dreamed of living in a small beach town or in the mountains – I see the appeal of you, nature and nobody else. No neighbors or sirens or city geese poop on your door step (thanks Denver).
But then I wouldn’t have access to everything that’s offered to us in a city. Like ethnic grocery stores – shelves stocked with exotic sauces, spices and all the noodles you could dream up.
This is just my intro to brag about all the cool ass grocery stores in my neighborhood.
Including a number of Vietnamese-specific ones that have so.many.things. I’m tempted to extend Vietnamese month into Vietnamese lifetime. I will never get through all the ingredients in this place.
But that won’t stop me from trying.
I’m starting with a very simple salad because it’s a tip-toe into some common Vietnamese ingredients. Even if you don’t have a Vietnamese grocery store near you, you can still make this salad.
Some ingredients you should stock up on:
You will see these show up in Vietnamese dishes (and other Asian dishes) over and over again so invest in these. Also, they aren’t expensive and you can find them pretty much everywhere. If not, there’s always Amazon.
I’d never heard of Vietnamese Chicken Salad before my friend Azita called it out on Instagram.
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
It’s easily my new favorite throw together salad, because:
I’ve thrown cabbage in your face before, so it’s no surprise I’m doing it again. It’s so pretty!!
The dressing it my favorite part. You’ll see this a lot in Vietnamese cooking – fish sauce paired with sugar to balance it out. The fresh lime brings a whole other level. Also there’s no oil. How very non-dressing this dressing is.
And yea yea, we’re in the dead of winter and we’re all supposed to be eating soup or whatever. But I’m over hot food, and I just want something that reminds me of warmer times and vacation.
And if you disagree, serve this with soup and make us both happy.
I found this recipe on A Spicy Perspective and will make it again and again.
Vietnamese Chicken Salad (Gỏi Gà Bắp Cải)
(Start making 10 minutes before you want Vietnamese Chicken Salad)
*Some notes on ingredients. I used rotisserie chicken because I’m not the most confident raw-chicken-toucher. This made it very easy. If you can find rau răm, this is Vietnamese cilantro. The Vietnamese grocery store I went to didn’t even have it, so you can use regular and I promise it’s still delicious. For chili garlic sauce, look for the green top plastic jars. You can find in most grocery stores.
Shred your cabbage, carrots and slice your onions – mix together. Add your chopped herbs and shredded chicken.
In a small bowl, mix together lime juice, water, honey, fish sauce, and chili garlic sauce. Don’t let the smell scare you.
Mix everything together and top with peanuts and/or shallots. Um, you’re done already…so just eat!
I like to mix the dressing in right before I eat the salad because it’s so so crunchy. You could probably mix it all together at once if you don’t mind losing a little crunch.