Serves: 4 – 6
One of my favorite meals in Waikiki was a Vietnamese Chicken Salad. We found this incredible dish in a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant around the corner from the hotel we I stayed in. I’ve been craving this ever since, so I was especially excited to visit a local Vietnamese restaurant in Chicago recently. What a disappointment! The flavors were totally off not to mention the mess of a bone-in, skin on, boiled chicken they threw on top. Needless to say, I didn’t eat much of it. So with cravings in tact, I set out to replicate the spectacular salad served to me in Oahu. After much research and a few tries, I present to you my version of Goi Ga! It’s not exactly traditional but all the flavors are there and I think the roast chicken adds a little something extra. Enjoy!!
- 1 small nappa cabbage (about 1 1/2 lb)
- 1 bunch of basil
- ½ cup of mint leaves
- ½ cup of cilantro leaves
- 1 small red onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 small red bell pepper
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts
- 1 1/2 lb of boneless skinless chicken (breast or thigh)
- 3 tbsp of light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp of lime juice
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Grate the garlic and ginger.
- Pound the chicken or butterfly to ¼ inch in thickness. In a gallon size, resealable bag, add the chicken and 1 tbsp each of garlic, ginger and fish sauce. Seal the bag and massage to combine all the ingredients. Place in the fridge and marinate for 20 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Cut the carrots and bell pepper into match sticks.
- Slice the onion into thin strips.
- Cut the cabbage into thin (1/8 inch) strips and roughly chop the herbs.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger and garlic. Place in the fridge to chill.
- Note: This dressing can be covered and kept for up to 1 month in the fridge.
- Lightly crush the peanuts and reserve for dressing.
- Place the marinated chicken on a baking sheet and roast for 20 – 25 minutes or until it’s cooked through. Cool for 5 minutes.
- While the chicken cools, combine the cabbage, herbs, onion, pepper and carrot in a very large bowl.
- Shred the chicken and add to the bowl with the cabbage. Add the dressing and toss to combine all the ingredients.
- Top with a bit of peanuts and a bit of cilantro. A sprinkling of fried onions or shallots is also traditional.
- Serve immediately!
- Regular cabbage is traditional so if you can’t find Nappa Cabbage use regular cabbage.
- The traditional way to prepare the chicken is steamed or boiled. If you don’t have time or resources to marinate and roast the chicken then just toss it in a pot with 6 cups of water and boil the bird! Then shred it and use as directed.