16 September 2011

Goi ga rau ram (Vietnamese chicken salad)

The other day I was craving goi ga (Vietnamese chicken salad). Partly because I have a very nice bunch of rau ram (Vietnamese mint/coriander) in my back yard that has to be eaten and partly because I love the sweet and sour onion slices I use for this salad.
My excuse for this salad was very much present in my yard. I actually grew these myself. I bought some rau ram and ate almost all the leaves. Then I soaked the stems in a jar till they developed roots. I’ve kept them in a jar for quite some time till I thought they had enough root so survive in the soil. If I knew they would love to be outside this much I would’ve put them out earlier. Before it gets too cold I’ll cut some off and start the process all over. I’ll try to see if I can grow them inside so I can still enjoy them in winter time.
These were getting plenty of sun and developed long strong smelling leaves! Only thing needed now is hot vit lon (duck eggs) or this chicken salad.

I know there are many recipes for this salad, but this is my one of my own. Just because it is so easy and the onions are really good in combination with the chicken and the rau ram. I hope you’ll give it a try.

For this salad I used:
-          one whole chicken (breast)
-          a couple of onions (I used 4 small ones)
-          vinegar
-          sugar
-          some rau ram leaves
-          nuoc mam gung (Vietnamese ginger fish sauce)
I started with slicing the onions in very thin half rings. In a big bowl I poured the vinegar and sugar and stirred till the sugar was dissolved. I wanted the mixture to be sweet and sour and depending on your own taste you can put more or less sugar. Then the onions went in. They have to marinate for at least half an hour so the loose that onion sharpness and suck this sweet and sour in.
I stirred it every couple of minutes to make sure every piece of onion got soaked. After half an hour they look like this; slightly less in volume but packed with flavor.
While the onion is marinating I started cooking the chicken. As I didn’t had any chicken breast I cooked a whole chicken in some ginger seasoned water till it was done. This broth can be used for some rice congee/porridge. Even for some chicken pho if you really crave it. I’m still thinking about what to turn it to. So many options and only one pot of broth.
I already had some nuoc mam that only needs an additional ginger to make ginger fish sauce. For this basic fish sauce you can go to this link. For nuoc mam gung you need to crush or grate some ginger and you’ll have ginger fish sauce.

In a big bowl I shredded the chicken (I used the breasts and the drumsticks) in big junks, added the sweet and sour onion (I squeezed them dry) and the rau ram. Last but not least I seasoned the salad with the ginger fish sauce. And that is all this salad needs.
We had it as a side dish with our stuffed tofu, green beans and rice and it didn’t really go well together. A better combo would be with some rice congee. So we ate our rice and snacked on this chicken salad after. I had a bit left and ate it the next day. It was even better so don’t through out any leftovers!


  1. lots of wonderful flavour in this Lilly

  2. one of my favorite of vietnamese food,my mouthwatering now :)

  3. Lilly this look wonderful, I love your recipe and how flavorful it sounds!

  4. This sounds really good Lilly, I'm not sure if I've ever tried that mint you grow. Something to look out for. Hope you have a great weekend.

  5. I don't think I've ever had rau ram and normally I love all sorts of Asian herbs. Once again, I have to say that you have A+ green fingers. You talk about gardening like it's as easy as breathing air! And your chicken salad looks mouthwatering, I'm just going to have to hunt down some rau ram now :-).

  6. This salad looks super yummy but I'm still eyeballing that stuff tofu. Yum! Good luck with your indoor gardening...I'm terrible with it :(

  7. Gorgeous salad, Lilly. I love the sweet and sour onions. I've never tasted rau ram. I'll be looking out for it. This would be a great addition to my herb garden.

  8. Oh this salad sounds delish! I am going to have to keep an eye out for it next time I get Vietnamese food.


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