Vietnamese Chicken Kofta Salad

Say no to boring salads with this mouth-watering Vietnamese-inspired meal! Don’t be put off by this recipe – it’s surprisingly quick and simple to throw together and the flavour combinations are out of this world and well worth the effort!

Vietnamese Chicken Kofta Salad

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Recipe by NZEggs Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: VietnameseDifficulty: Medium


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Say no more to boring salads with this mouth-watering Vietnamese inspired dish! Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients – the flavours worth it and it’s ready in only 45 minutes!


  • For the chicken koftas
  • 500 g chicken mince

  • 1 egg

  • 2 lemongrass stems, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 red chilli, chopped

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 0.5 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, central stem removed, finely sliced

  • Oil for frying

  • For the salad
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons grated palm sugar (or brown sugar)

  • 0.25 cup water

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 red chillies, deseeded, thinly sliced (save one for garnishing the final salad)

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 4 eggs, room temperature

  • 100 g snow peas

  • 2 carrots, peeled

  • 1 baby cos lettuce, roughly sliced

  • 0.5 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 0.5 cucumber, deseeded, halved and thinly sliced

  • Handful of green herbs such as mint, Vietnamese mint, or coriander

  • 2 tablespoons black or white sesame seeds, toasted

  • Lime wedges to serve


  • Koftas:
  • Mix all the kofta ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Divide the mixture evenly into 8 golf ball sized portions, then shape into oval koftas.
  • Pan fry the koftas in a little oil over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, or until cooked through.
  • Salad
  • In a small saucepan bring the vinegar, sugar, and water to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool.
  • Add the garlic, half the chilli, lime juice, and fish sauce, then taste and adjust the amount of lime juice and fish sauce if necessary. Set aside.
  • In a pot of gently simmering water, gently add the eggs, cooking for 6 minutes for soft boiled eggs, or a further 2 – 3 minutes for a firmer yolk. Remove the eggs and plunge into cold water for 5 minutes. Once cooled, peel the eggs and slice in half.
  • Blanch the snow peas in boiling, salted water for 30 seconds, then plunge them immediately into cold water. Drain well and cut in half lengthwise.
  • Use a peeler to peel thin strips from the carrot to create ribbons. Place the carrot ribbons, snow peas, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and herbs into a large bowl, tossing with the dressing to combine.
  • To serve, place the dressed salad in bowls, then lay the chicken on top. Place two of the egg halves in each bowl, then scatter with the sesame seeds and remaining chilli. Serve with lime wedges.


  • Take your chicken koftas to the next level by using a stem of lemon grass as a skewer! Using damp hands, shape each of your 8 chicken portions around the large end of a lemongrass stem.
  • Make this recipe even quicker by blitzing all kofta ingredients (except the chicken) in a food processor, then mix the resulting paste into the chicken.
  • If you’re short on time you can substitute the chicken koftas for 500g of chicken thighs. Simply pan fry until cooked through, then add to your salad.
  • If you’re a seafood lover, salmon also works great in this recipe! Season a 400g piece of salmon generously with salt and pepper. Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and pan fry your salmon for 3 minutes on each side, then set aside to cool. When it’s cool enough to handle, break it into rough chunks and add to your salad.
  • If you’re struggling to find some of the ingredients, like lemongrass or palm sugar, check out your local Asian grocer.

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