Goi Ga Vietnamese Salad topped with shredded roast chicken and cashews is bliss at a summer barbecue!
Looking to learn how to make healthy Goi Ga? This fresh and crunchy cold salad takes under 30 minutes to prepare and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser for roast chicken lovers.
Our quick and easy recipe features thinly sliced vegetables, shredded cabbage, fresh herbs, sweet & spicy vinaigrette, leftover roast chicken and salted cashews.
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Travel to Vietnam by Cooking Goi Ga at Home
I love traveling through Asia. My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.
After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout southeast Asia for 6 months, visiting the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
I spent over a month traveling by bus through Vietnam. I started in the south, spending a few days in Saigon before exploring the floating markets in the nearby Mekong Delta. I then took a series of night buses north making stops in Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay and Hanoi.
What I found most fascinating is Vietnam’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, each town in Vietnam had its own local speciality.
Where To Eat Goi Ga
If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Vietnamese restaurant that serves traditional Goi Ga.
Haven’t traveled to Vietnam before? It may be helpful to first sample Goi Ga at a local Vietnamese restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can also assess the variety of ingredients used and sample the correct texture before trying to make Vietnamese chicken salad at home from scratch.
In Toronto, popular Vietnamese restaurants that may serve Goi Ga include Pinky’s Ca Phe, Pho Phuong, Pho Vistro, Anh Dao, Pho Hung, Pho Asia 21 or The Golden Turtle.
Best Recipe For Leftover Roast Chicken
Goi Ga is one of our favourite quick and easy healthy recipes to use up leftover roast chicken or turkey. We typically make this cold Vietnamese salad the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas when we have lots of leftover turkey and chicken.
The following morning, simply remove the remaining meat off the bird and shred into thin strips with a sharp knife. If you’re looking to make this recipe without roasted chicken leftovers on hand, you can easily sauté, barbecue or boil one pound of chicken breasts or thighs. We prefer chicken thigh meat as it is more flavourful and tender.
Some of our other favourite leftover chicken and turkey recipes you might be interested in cooking at home include Christmas and Thanksgiving Turkey Cranberry Sandwich, Spicy Tikka Masala Turkey Barley Soup, White BBQ Turkey Sandwiches with Jalapeno and Pickles, Creamy Mediterranean Hummus Pasta with Pesto Chicken and Best Homemade Korean Ssamjang Chicken and Kimchi Nachos.
Tips For Making Goi Ga Vietnamese Salad
If it’s your first time making Vietnamese Goi Ga we suggest you first start by reading the ingredients list and recipe directions below. This simple cold salad from Vietnam is quick and easy to make but in order to perfect the method you need to pay attention to the size and thickness of vegetables you’re slicing.
The best Goi Ga features finely sliced vegetables cut into thin julienned strips. If you cut large chunks of carrot, daikon, cucumber or onion you lose the desired mouthfeel. After tossing the vegetables in vinaigrette the salad should appear like a slaw.
We suggest using a sharp French Knife to thinly slice the carrots, daikon, cucumber and mango. You could also use a specialized mandolin or even have fun with a spiralizer. If you’re serving this dish as a celebration, such as a birthday, you may even want to top the salad with crunchy Vietnamese Fried Chicken.
If you can’t find Asian daikon at your grocery store you can substitute with red radishes. It’s best to use napa cabbage but if you can only find white or red cabbage they can be swapped out when you’re in a pinch.
We’ve used fresh herbs such as mint and cilantro in this recipe but we encourage you to get creative with the aromatics of your homemade Goi Ga. You may also want to add sliced Thai basil, chives or scallions. If you have crispy garlic chips in your cupboard sprinkle them on the top of your salad to add an extra crunch and burst of flavour.
This Goi Ga recipe includes quick pickled vegetables but if you make fermented vegetables at home feel free to slice up fermented carrots, fermented peppers, fermented onions and fermented garlic. You may even want to replace the honey in the vinaigrette with our popular fermented garlic honey to add an extra zing!
What To Serve with Goi Ga
This popular cold salad topped with shredded roast chicken and cashew nuts can be enjoyed as a main course or side dish. It keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days so store it in an airtight container and enjoy leftovers as a quick and easy lunch at work.
If you’re hosting a large dinner party, pair the cold chicken salad with a hot pho soup, stir fried noodles, curry or egg rolls.
If you have vegans or vegetarians joining you for dinner this dish would not be suitable unless you make substitutions. Ask your friends if they are polo pescatarians and can eat fish sauce and roasted chicken.
If you’re aware of their food habits in advance, you can make homemade vegetarian fish sauce and have guests top their Goi Ga with cashews and chicken so the body of the salad is meat and seafood free. You don’t want to exclude fish sauce from the recipe as it is a distinguishing flavour component. The vegetarian alternative provides the salty and umami forward flavours thanks to miso and mushrooms.
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Best Cold Vietnamese Chicken Salad
Goi Ga Vietnamese Salad
- French knife
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Mixing bowls
Goi Ga Salad
- 4 cups Napa Cabbage shredded
- 1/2 Cucumber sliced and seeded
- 1 cup Daikon sliced
- 1 Carrot matchsticks
- 1/2 cup Red onion sliced
- 1/4 cup Mint chopped
- 1/4 cup Cilantro chopped
- 1 lb Rotisserie Chicken cold, shredded
- 1/2 cup Water warm
- 2 tbsp Fish sauce
- 3 tbsp Rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Lime juice
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 2 Garlic clove minced
- 1 Red chili chopped
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Roasted Cashews chopped
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Place the chicken and the remaining salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add about half the dressing and toss well. Let the salad stand for 5-10 minutes, then toss again, adding more dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish the salad with cashews and garnish and lime wedges.
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