Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Mangoes
Super flavorful Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Mangoes and crispy wonton strips. This is a salad that you’re going to want to make over and over again! The dressing sweet, tangy, and savory and is super simple to make and can be kept in the fridge for weeks!
This. This salad is my life. I’ve probably said that about every salad i’ve made at some point or another. But this Vietnamese chicken salad is off the chain.
We’re talking about shredded chicken, chopped Napa cabbage, shredded carrots, mint, cilantro, scallions, sweet, sweet mangoes, and the best part, (wait for it) WONTON STRIPS. My heart swells at the thought of those crispy perfect golden delicious strips. All drizzled in my most addicting sweet-sour-savory-tangy dressing.
No but seriously. I could eat this dressing on EVERYTHING. For reals. A salad is a bland old plate of veggies without dressing. You don’t remember a salad for it’s shredded lettuce or tomatoes, you remember it for it’s dressing. Or at least I do! Dressing makes the world go round, yo.
Have you noticed I have a thing for the ‘crispies’ also known as croutons on my salad? Remember this salad and how we added roasted chickpeas to it? Best. Decision. Ever.
This Vietnamese chicken salad has Summer 2015 written all over it.
Let’s talk yummy, sticky, sweet salad dressing. A few ingredients tossed into a small saucepan (as in sugar, water, fish sauce, and rice vinegar) and heated until it just barely starts to bubble. And I do mean barely. Like when you start to see the tiny bubbles forming around the rim of the saucepan on the sauce. Take it off the heat. Add in the lime juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
If you’re like me, and you LOVE salad dressing, you may want to double the recipe right off the bat. The worse that’ll happen is that you’ll have to make this Vietnamese chicken salad with mangoes and rice noodles and wonton strips again. Did I mention it keeps for weeks? WEEKS. As in when you go to clean the refrigerator say, 2 weeks after you made this vietnamese salad, and you see this salad dressing giving you the googly eyes from behind the mustard and mayo jars, you just go on girl and make yourself a salad because you know that dressing is still as fresh as the day you made it. Yuh-huh.
FACT: There is just so much goodness in this recipe, that you could totally just leave the shredded chicken out and you wouldn’t even miss it, seriously. Sometimes i’ll be assembling this salad, adding in the shredded carrots, chopped up mint and cilantro, a big handful of scallions, and oodles of Napa cabbage, and only after eating a vat full of this salad to I realize the chicken never got added in. Between the noodles, the wonton strips, and the dressing, can you blame a girl for leaving the chicken out?
Let’s recap all the things you are going to love about this Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Mangoes & Rice Noodles:
- chicken is optional! Okay, yes, you’re right. I did add the word ‘chicken’ to the title. But that’s because how I had it originally. I loved it just as much (if not more) without the chicken.
- veggies galore: eat the rainbow, yo. Look at those carrots, and minty greens, and Napa cabbage, CILANTRO. Oh. Peanuts would be good too. Okay, note to self, add peanuts next time.
- zingy, sweet vietnamese salad dressing.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup fish sauce (preferably nuoc mam or nam pla)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 4 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
- 1 large mango, julienned (use 2 if they are small or if you like more mango)
- 10 ounces cooked shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken would work too) (see note)
- 4 cups Napa cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1/4 cup each -- cilantro, scallion, mint -- chopped
- 1 cup wonton strips (see note)
- DRESSING: Place the sugar, water, fish sauce, and rice vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir to combine. When the sauce stars to barely come to a boil, remove from heat immediately. Stir in the lime juice,red pepper flakes, and garlic. Let sauce come to room temperature before dressing salad.
- SALAD: Add all the ingredients into a large bowl except the wonton strips, toss with the dressing when ready to serve. Top with the wotnon strips.
- Feel free to omit the chicken from this recipe. I've had it both with and without it and I think the salad is fantastic either way!
- To make the wonton strips at home: Purchase square wonton sheets. These are usually sold at asian supermarkets in the freezer section. Cut the squares into small strips. Heat 1-inch of oil in a skillet when hot, add the strips and cook them for about a 30 seconds to a minute. Remove them from the pan before they're totally brown to a paper towel lined plate.