Vietnamese Chicken Salad (low-carb, gluten-free)

This is a light and flavoursome Asian main meal salad. I made it because we had half a cabbage, pepper, as well as two carrots left in the bottom of the fridge. It turned out to be a very versatile recipe as I’ve made it since as Vietnamese coleslaw! It could be made with sesame baked tofu or fish. The salad has an intense, clean flavour.

The recipe came from The reverse your diabetes cookbook. This is significantly reduced on Amazon and has some great low carb recipes.

Nutrition (per serving): 522 calories, 20g carbs, 8g fibre, 41g protein, 27g fat. Note: Instead of honey, I reduced the net carbs by using Sukrin Gold Fibre Syrup.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 150g white or red cabbage
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/2 red or yellow pepper
  • 50g roasted hazelnuts (I used roasted peanuts)
  • a large handful of a mixture of Thai basil, coriander, and mint, leaves roughly torn & stalks finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely grated

For the dressing:

I haven’t included a picture of the ingredients as it’s simple; I just put everything in the blender until smooth

  • juice of 2 limes
  • 4 tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce, or 3 tbsps of nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • 3 tbsps rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey (I used Sukrin fibre gold keto syrup instead)
  • 1/4-1/2 red or green chilli, finely chopped, or a pinch of chilli flakes (I used the chilli flakes)
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped (optional) (This added to the flavour)


Soak the spring onions in cold water for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Poach the chicken, in a pan of boiling salted water, for around 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through and no longer pink inside. Leave to cool in the water for around 10 minutes, then drain, and leave to cool completely. (You can also use cold rotisserie chicken for simplicity).

In a dry pan, toast the sesame seeds, until they start to pop and turn golden brown, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. I put the peanuts in at the same time.

In a bowl, mix the dressing ingredients together: lime juice, fish sauce, rice vinegar, honey, chilli, and garlic (optional).

Finely slice the cabbage; and shred the chicken.

Cut the carrot and pepper into julienne strips, and add them straight into the dressing, to prevent browning.

To assemble the salad, mix the chicken, cabbage, peanuts, ginger and herbs into the dressing bowl.

Arrange on a serving platter and scatter over the toasted sesame seeds.

Enjoy!! Give it a try, and make it your own!

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