This week’s recipe: Vietnamese carrot and cabbage salad

This is a slightly reviewed version of my mother’s Vietnamese salad (also known as “Goi”). Even though I grew up eating Vietnamese food, I don’t really like fish sauce, nor do I like the taste of raw garlic, so this salad is a milder version. It’s very fresh and is packed with flavours, yet contains almost no oil.

The traditional version is to be served as a starter, with shredded chicken on top but I like to make it into a healthy and vegetarian main dish: with white rice and grilled prawns / tofu / tempeh.

The most important addition is the fried shallots, which is not essential but makes it so (sooooo) much better. I make a large batch once in a while but it can also be bought ready made in any supermarket as it is also used a lot in Indonesian cuisine. I use fried shallots for EVERYTHING: from avocado toasts, to simple stir-fried vegetables, curries, white rice… you name it. Even in small quantities, it’s makes a huge difference.



    • 3 tbsp lime juice
    • 3 tbsp brown sugar (I use coconut sugar)
    • 2 tbsp water
    • 1 tbsp roasted sesame oil (this to me is essential)
    • 1 tbsp of peanut butter (not essential but a great addition)
    • Salt and pepper, to taste


    • 1 cup of white cabbage shredded
    • 1 cup shredded carrots
    • Half onion finely chopped (not essential as many people don’t like the taste of raw onion)
    • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
    • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves (I couldn’t find either of them so I went with flat parsley, which is not ideal but better than nothing!)
    • Fried shallots


Toss all the vegetables into a large salad bowl, combine gently (using hands is easiest).

Mix all the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad mix

Refrigerate for an hour or two, so the vegetables can soak in the juices (serving this salad cold is essential).

Top the salad with fried shallots just before serving.

To read the Indonesian translation, click here.

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