A Spicy Perspective

Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe (Goi Ga)

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Crunchy Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe (Goi Ga) – A light and healthy chicken and cabbage salad that is gluten-free and paleo-friendly!

chicken salad recipe

Vietnamese Goi Ga

I grew up in a city that has a significant Vietnamese population. Therefore, long before I had an appreciation for more popular international cuisines, I loved Vietnamese cuisine.

From noodle soups to noodle salad bowls, and banh mi sandwiches, I haven’t met a Vietnamese dish I haven’t liked… And I crave it above all other national foods.

In college, I made a habit of visiting a particular Vietnamese restaurant once a week with a friend. On my limited student budget, their lunch specials were a bargain!

Each meal came with an appetizer portion of Vietnamese Cold Chicken Salad (Goi Ga), a crunchy chilled salad with a bold zesty flavor, and shredded chicken speckled throughout.

Vietnamese chicken salad

Goi Ga Recipe

Now that we live hundreds of miles away from my favorite Vietnamese lunch spot, I have to make these dishes at home.

Although some Vietnamese recipes are complicated, Vietnamese Cold Chicken Salad (Goi Ga) is extremely quick and simple.

It’s crisp, fragrant, and loaded with veggies, with a tangy-sweet punch from the nuoc cham dressing. Plus, it easily fits into most diet plans!

Make a big bowl of Vietnamese Cold Chicken Salad (Goi Ga) on Monday and take it for lunch throughout the week. Or serve it as a light dinner any night of the week.

You are going to love it!!

goi ga

Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe Ingredients

For the Vietnamese Chicken Salad:

  • Shredded Napa Cabbage
  • Cold Cooked Shredded Chicken (you can use leftovers or a rotisserie chicken)
  • Roughly Chopped Fresh Mint
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Thinly Sliced Red Onion
  • Roughly Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • Chopped Roasted Peanuts (you can use cashews to make this paleo-friendly)

For the Nuoc Cham Dressing:

  • Fresh Lime Juice
  • Water
  • Honey
  • Fish Sauce
  • Chili Garlic Sauce

cabbage salad

How To Make This Chicken Salad Recipe

This recipe is super easy and is full of flavor!

  1. Prep your ingredients by chopping, slicing, and shredding the ingredients needed for the salad. 
  2. Mix all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. 
  3. Whisk together the lime juice, water, honey, fish sauce, and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl to make the dressing for the salad. 
  4. When you are ready to serve the salad, pour the dressing over the top and toss it well. 

Get the Full (Printable) Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe. Enjoy!

thai chicken salad

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long does this salad last?

The salad mix without the dressing tossed in can last around 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. If the dressing is tossed in and you have leftovers, then I would recommend eating the leftovers within 24 to 36 hours.

Can I add in any kind of meat?

Yes, you can substitute the chicken in this recipe for other meats of choice. Turkey or pork loin would both be a good option for this.

What other dressings would taste great with this salad?

Changing the dressing will make this Vietnamese classic something entirely new. However, feel free to try it with ranch, avocado ranch, balsamic vinaigrette, greek dressing, or lemon aioli sauce. 

goi ga

Other Great Salad Recipes

Vietnamese Cold Chicken Salad (Goi Ga) #healthy #lowcarb #paleo
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5 from 31 votes
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Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe (Goi Ga)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Crunchy Vietnamese Cold Chicken Salad (Goi Ga) Recipe - A light and healthy chicken and cabbage salad that is gluten free and paleo-friendly!
Servings: 8


For the Vietnamese Cold Chicken Salad:

  • 6 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken, cold (use leftovers or a rotisserie chicken)
  • 3/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts (cashews for paleo-friendly)

For the Nuoc Cham Dressing:


  • Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, water, honey, fish sauce, and chili garlic sauce.
  • When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.



Serving: 2cups, Calories: 167kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 202mg, Potassium: 348mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 2315IU, Vitamin C: 25.2mg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 0.9mg
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Author: Sommer Collier

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48 comments on “Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe (Goi Ga)”

  1. Amazing! So tasty and fresh. While time consuming to make, it is easy and so worth it.
    My husband is Vietnamese and loved it – better than his mother’s he said (shhh … don’t tell)! Thanks for publishing this recipe.

  2. Is there a good substitute for the cilantro? Am one of those who can’t tolerate it other than in the tiniest measure. Hoping there is or I can omit because otherwise this sounds great! TIA-

  3. This is wonderful! The dressing is as thin as water, but give a stir in between bites and grab a fork full from the bottom. VERY good!!

  4. I added 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger to the dressing, for a little more kick.

  5. I’ve just started to meal prep and found this recipe to try. We don’t have a lot of Vietnamese food options where I live, but there are one or two restaurants we’ve tried. This reminds me of one of my favorite dishes, summer rolls. The dressing was surprisingly good and the calories are low. I think shrimp would also do well if you wanted to change it up from chicken. This is going into my rotation!

  6. I’ve made this for my husband and high school daughters’ packed lunch. They all three love it and ask for it to be in the rotation often. I include some kind of tortilla or wraps so they can make a chicken salad wrap. My daughters have shared them with friends and their friends ask them to bring it too. Lol. 

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  8. Yummy!perfect summer salad. I love the Chinese cabbage it lighter than lettuce, a nice change❤️

  9. This was really good! Love the cilantro and mint. The dressing was excellent. Just a touch spicy and perfect savory-ness.

  10. My family would love this!

  11. I LOVE this salad! I’ve made it a few times and everyone enjoys it! Especially good on a hot summer’s day with the fresh herbs!

  12. This was delicious! I made it for my lunch to take to work this week – I admit the dressing made me leery with the fish sauce but it totally works! 

  13. I haven’t made this salad yet, but I think that sauce would be good on lots of different things..
    Thank you for sharing this recipe..

  14. I’ve never had this version of chicken salad. Looks tasty. I’m going to have to try this out.

  15. Looks tasty! Can’t wait to try this out for a healthy lunch.

  16. This would be a great way to change up the standard regular old chicken salad.

  17. This was such an easier version to start with (first time making this) than several other recipes I looked at, and it turned out delicious on the first try.

    I cooked my own chicken because I had four breasts in the freezer. Boiled in a frying pan on the stove with salt and pepper until cooked, then shredded. Added 10-12 minutes to prep time but NBD.

    For the Chili Garlic sauce I used Trader Joe’s Thai-style green chili sauce because I already had it. Also threw some parsley in the salad along with the other greens because i had some and needed to use it up.

  18. I made this yesterday and and love it!

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  22. I have been looking for cold meal prep ideas during the work week since I don’t have the option to heat my food— this has been my favorite recipe yet! For convenience, I used the Mann’s Power Blend in place of plain Napa cabbage to add more veggies and cut down on prep time. I will absolutely be making this again, so fresh and delicious :)

  23. I made this today for the first time.  It was awesome. I forgot to add the peanuts but hey, great excuse to make it again. 

  24. This salad is so good! Everyone at my house loved it.

  25. I love everything about this salad! So good and delicious!

  26. Secretly one of my favorite non-traditional chicken salad recipes that I have tried! 

  27. Very Good. A keeper for sure. 

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  30. Made this Saturday night and we loved it! So much flavor, crunch and yumminess all wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla that I’ll definitely be making this again! Love that the dressing has no fat in it, too. Very healthy!

  31. I made this with a package of tuna instead of chicken for lunch and dinner for 2 days. Was still incredible. Great meal for hot summer lunches.

  32. Yum! My husband and I made this today. We used the crockpot to make the shredded chicken, and added some shrimp. (And accidentally added a whole red onion instead of half. :p) This was delicious, and it came out so pretty and colorful that I sent a picture to my Vietnamese mom! Thank you for the recipe!

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  34. My husband and I thought this was absolutely delicious.  We put leftover grilled chicken thighs on it which had been done in a teriyaki marinade.  I cut back a tiny bit on the honey and fish sauce, but otherwise followed it exactly.  Can’t wait for the leftovers today for lunch.  Thanks for sharing this!

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  41. This is an amazing recipe! Made it tonight and it’s absolutely delicious. ?

  42. YUM! this looks fabulous and I’m going to give Paleo a shot for February so this will be perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  43. Loving all the textures!

  44. I always order this at Vietnamese food! SO awesome Sommer!

  45. Love full flavored chicken salad like this! 

  46. Love all of the flavours and textures in this chicken salad!

  47. This looks absolutely amazing! I will definitely give your recipe a try next time I’m having friends over for dinner :-).