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We had a delicious pot roast chicken at the weekend when the boy came home unexpectedly and we needed to feed him up with something quick and delicious. Pot roasting is new to me and while it was not the crispiest skinned bird ever, it was probably the moistest one we have cooked at home, and the leftovers were so good I just had to make another meal out of them.

When we have left over roast meats we often use our own version of a Nigella Vietnamese salad recipe from Nigella Bites. In essence, this dish is an Asian slaw to which you can add whichever (shredded) meat you have in your fridge. It is very easy (all the ingredients are available from the supermarket), relatively quick to make, delicious and very virtuous in terms of calorie intake, if you care about that sort of thing.

The key thing is the dressing, which you can play around with according to your tastes, but it should be a combination of sweet, sour, savoury and salty. I often add a bit more fish sauce and lime juice, as well as some extra chilli, as I like it really salty and sour with plenty of kick.

A Vietnamesesque Salad

  • left over roast chicken, a couple of cooked chicken breasts, or some pieces of cold roast beef or pork
  • 1/2-1 small white cabbage
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 red chillies (small bird’s eye ones if you like heat or the larger milder serrano ones if not)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp sugar (I use Coconut Blossom Nectar which feels a bit more virtuous as it is untreated and has a lower Glycaemic Index than sugar)
  • 3 tsp vinegar (I use Coconut but just about any vinegar other than Balsamic would do)
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbsp fish Sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp oil (sunflower or similar – something unflavoured)
  • large bunch of coriander
  • large bunch of mint
  1. Slice the chillies and the onions finely and crush the garlic and place in a bowl with the sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce and oil.  Whisk and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Finely slice, mandolin or grate the cabbage (removing the tough core) and grate the peeled carrots, and put in your serving bowl.
  3. Shred or slice the meat finely and add to the serving bowl.
  4. Once the dressing has marinated for a while in the fridge, add to the undressed salad and methodically mix until everything is covered.
  5. Pick the herbs and add to the salad, tossing it together.

The flavours are amazing and it makes a nice contrast to all the heavier carbohydrate-based dishes around at this time of year. If it doesn’t feel quite substantial enough for you, you could always add some glass or rice noodles to the dish.

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