Low Carb Vietnamese Chicken Salad. 10g net carbs. Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free.
It’s one of those dishes you discover and cannot stop making over and over again.
The lightly sticky chicken is infused with a touch of sweetness that, together with delicately balanced seasoning, delivers amazing umami to your palate. Combined with a crunchy, light, sweet and savoury salad, the flavour explosion is second to none. And you still have ‘spare’ carbs to keep you well within the average ketosis allowance.
How to Make Low Carb Vietnamese Chicken Salad
I highly recommend free-range, grass-fed, organic chicken thighs. Not only for the ethical treatment of the birds, but because happy, free-to-roam chickens will always give you the best meat.
Boneless and skinless thighs are easier to prepare. Just trim off the fat, cut them into 3-4cm pieces, add them to the marinade, and leave them to infuse.
The best flavour undoubtedly comes from letting the chicken marinate for 2+ hours. But if you’re in a hurry to create a fast meal, 10-15 minutes will be OK.
That’s about how long it will take you to toast the sesame seeds and prepare the salad, so you wouldn’t be wasting any time.
The chicken then takes 10 minutes to cook. We’re talking seriously healthy fast food deliciousness.
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Low Carb Vietnamese Chicken Salad
- 450 g chicken thigh fillets - skinless, fat trimmed off, cut into small 3-4cm pieces
- 8 g fish sauce (U.S. option HERE)
- 15 g coconut vinegar (U.S. option HERE) *see notes
- 8 g soy sauce
- 15 g Sukrin sugar free syrup (U.S. option HERE)
- 8 g fresh root ginger - grated, net weight
- 1 lime - juice only
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- ½ tsp coconut oil (U.S. option HERE)
- 10 g sesame seeds
- ¼ tsp blackstrap molasses *optional but recommended (U.S. option HERE)
Marinate the Chicken
- put a mixing bowl over scales, add all ingredients except coconut oil, sesame seeds and blackstrap molasses (if using), stir and cover with cling film.
- let the chicken marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
Prepare the Salad
- blanche beansprouts in boiling water for 15 seconds, drain and let cool completely.
- cut carrots into thin slivers - I use a julienne (serrated) peeler because it's quicker and creates the paper-thin strips I prefer.
- do the same for the cucumber, avoiding the soft/seeded core; place the slivers on paper kitchen towel, let sit while you cut the other veggies, then squeeze out the moisture.
- slice mange tout lengthways, again creating thin strips.
- finely chop chilli pepper (if using), discarding seeds.
- combine MCT oil, lime zest and juice, plus sugar free syrup in a salad/mixing bowl, but don't add veggies just yet, or they'll become soggy and limp.
Cook the Chicken
- heat coconut oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat.
- add chicken together with all the marinade juices and the blackstrap molasses (if using).
- cook, uncovered, stirring from time to time, for about 10 minutes, or until liquids have evaporated, leaving the chicken pieces coated with a glossy, sticky sauce.
- while the chicken is cooking, toast sesame seeds until fragrant; stir half into the chicken at the end of cooking time.
- toss veggies in the MCT vinaigrette and divide between two serving plates or bowls.
- add chicken pieces, sprinkle remaining sesame seeds all over and serve immediately.
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