Vietnamese Chicken & Coleslaw Salad

"I can't believe anything this healthy can taste so good! Truly, this is one of the best things I've ever eaten. This recipe is very liberally adapted from one shown on Australia's version of Good Chef Bad Chef. The original poached a whole chicken, but I just bought a cooked chicken from the shop and 'cheated' with the poaching. It was still deeee-licious!"
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:




  • First, prepare the chicken poaching liquid.
  • In a small saucepan, combine chicken stock, lemon juice, ginger, sambal oelek or minced chilli, coriander roots and stems, and garlic.
  • Add whole breasts of chicken (and any extra pieces) to liquid and set aside until needed.
  • In a medium bowl, combine chopped coriander and mint leaves and the sliced green onion - remember to reserve some mint and coriander leaves for garnish. Set aside until needed.
  • Now, make the dressing.
  • Add all the dressing ingredients to a small food processor and blitz until combined. (Or chop or mince garlic very finely and combine with dressing ingredients in a sealable jar and shake vigorously).
  • Taste and adjust flavours of dressing to suit your personal taste - it should be quite sweet, salty and tangy.
  • Next, combine coleslaw ingredients in a large bowl - remembering to reserve some bean sprouts for garnish - and toss thoroughly.
  • (I use the food processor to prepare the coleslaw – use the slicer blade for cabbage and onion, and the grater for the carrot).
  • Now, put the saucepan with the chicken and poaching liquid on the stove over a medium heat and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until chicken is heated through.
  • Remove chicken from poaching liquid (discard poaching liquid) and shred chicken by tearing apart with two forks.
  • Add warm chicken to the bowl with coriander and mint leaves, and green onions.
  • Pour over 1/3 cup of the dressing and mix well.
  • Pour the remaining dressing into the prepared coleslaw and mix well.
  • To assemble, pile coleslaw into bowls, top with chicken mixture and garnish with reserved coriander, mint and bean sprouts.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Great recipe. Healthy and delicious. I cheated and used a roasted chicken from Costco. Omitted the sesame oil because I'm allergic. Added half a red pepper for color. I'm serving it with sunflower seeds on the side, as I'm also allergic to all seeds. Traditional Vietnamese cabbabe and chicken coleslaw is usually topped with chopped peanuts. Thank you.
  2. I loved this recipe, too. I also poached the chicken with fantastic results. I think next time I will replace the water in the dressing with lemon juice. The balance of sweet, salty, hot and sour was just not quite right - needed more sour! Otherwise lovely, nutritious, a big winner in our house and sure to become a staple!
  3. Yum, this is a wonderful recipe. Have to say that I made it with a free range BBQ chicken as it was just too hot to put the oven on. Very refreshing and complex flavours yet very easy to put together. Do try this one.
  4. Kooka, I agree with you. It is healthy AND tastes fabulous. If you love Vietnamese cuisine, this is for you. I decided I would try poaching the chicken from scratch. I used a whole chook and the ingredients as listed except I had to increase the chick stock to 2 cups. I simmered it gently for 50 minutes, let it rest for 10 minutes and pulled it out. When it cooled enough to handle, I removed the meat. I then poured on the sauce and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Lastly, I drained the chicken liquid which I added to the rest in the pot and put it in the freezer for later as it tasted great. Everything else was to the letter except I added a pack of bean vermicelli (poured boiling water over, let sit for 15 min, then drained and rinsed) to make it more substantial. Some things to be aware of, palm sugar is hard to dissolve and there was a lot of dressing. We all tilted our plates to vacuum it up but maybe next time I will reduce the water a bit. Last note is that I used vietnamese mint which was also delicious.


  1. I loved this recipe, too. I also poached the chicken with fantastic results. I think next time I will replace the water in the dressing with lemon juice. The balance of sweet, salty, hot and sour was just not quite right - needed more sour! Otherwise lovely, nutritious, a big winner in our house and sure to become a staple!


<p>Above: Slideshow of our garden at Avalon Slideshow of our recent holiday at Woodgate Beach, South-East Queensland, Australia. Hi! I'm Kookaburra, from Australia. First, a promise. I will only post recipes on this site which I've made myself and to which I would personally give a 5 star rating - what you give them is up to you ;-) I look forward to receiving your feedback. If you look at my reviews, they're all 5 stars. That doesn't mean I give 5 stars to every recipe I try. I'm just not interested in giving poor ratings to anyone else's recipe because I accept that different people have different tastes. So, I've decided that I'll only review those recipes which I really love and which I'd make again and recommend to friends. If a recipe meets that criteria - even if it needs a bit of 'tweaking' to match my tastes, I'll give it 5 stars. If not, I'll just delete it from my recipe book and no hard feelings. I'm not advocating this as the 'right' approach. I just decided I needed a consistent strategy for rating and this is mine. I'm passionate about cooking - and eating! What I look for in food is something that 'zings' in the mouth. I like lots of taste - I'm not a big fan of subtlety. I don't often cook recipes exactly as written. I like to experiment and adapt things to my own taste. A retired marketing executive and academic, I live with my elderly (but thoroughly modern) mother in a tiny mountain village at the edge of the rainforest. I'm female, happily single, in my mid-40s and boast the Rubenesque figure of a passionate cook! Avalon, our 'story-book' cottage, overlooks a small lake. As I sit at my computer or work in the kitchen, I'm serenaded by a cacophany of native birds - including a very fat family of kookaburras! We have quite a large property and are lucky to have vegetable gardens and a variety of fruit and nut trees. I look forward to sharing recipes on Recipezaar with family, friends and friends I've yet to meet. last minute flight</p>
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