Easy Make Ahead Picnic!

by Maureen on May 27, 2011

Today the Friday Morning Cooking group made the best picnic salad I’ve had in a long time. Our group meets every Friday morning at 10 am and it’s a great opportunity to have a cup of coffee or tea, a piece of cake and a chat with friends.  I look forward to my Friday food adventure.

This salad takes a bit of time to prepare because everything has to be sliced or diced but every bit is easy and the salad can be made up to a couple of days in advance.  All you need is your picnic basket, this salad and some chicken.  I’d probably stop at the shop and get a rotisserie/bbq chicken on the way to the picnic and save myself some work on picnic day.  Once you arrive, slice or pull apart the chicken, add the dressing to the salad and plate it up.

how to make Vietnamese chicken and mint salad

The dressing is only chopping a few ingredients, adding a few more ingredients, mix and let the flavors combine before using.  It tastes SO good!  If you want to prepare your own chicken, you can do that too.  Mix some garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce and lime juice and soak some chicken tenders for 15 minutes and then grill in a hot pan til just done.  For my picnic I used a store bought chicken to save time.

ingredients for a Vietnamese Mint Salad

The ingredients in this salad aren’t expensive and it makes a LOT of salad.  You can use Vietnamese mint, plain old regular mint or a combination of regular mint, spearmint and Vietnamese mint.  I used Vietnamese mint and garden variety mint and it was delicious.

If you use a V slicer (mandolin), a salad maker or a shredder or a food processor, then this salad doesn’t take very long at all.  If you’re doing it all by hand, it will take some time but nothing in this recipe is difficult. Just slice and chop and place everything in a large bowl.

how to make vietnamese mint saladLooks messy I know but the taste is oh so good.  Once you have the dressing made and the chopping and slicing done it’s all down to plating or storing for that fantastic picnic you have planned.  The salad mix will stay in good shape for three or four days if you don’t add the dressing til just before you serve the salad.

Vietnamese Mint SaladJust add the chicken, drizzle with the dressing and it’s time to eat!  Here’s the recipe:

4.8 from 4 reviews
Easy Make Ahead Picnic!
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you're looking for a make-ahead picnic meal, give a Vietnamese Chicken and Mint Salad a try. I think you'll be pleased.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8
  • 400 grams chicken tenderloin (tendon removed)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
Vietnamese Salad Dressing
  • 4 Hot red chilli seeded and finely chopped (save a few slices for salad garnish)
  • 4 large cloves of garlic finely grated
  • 8 tbsp sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 6 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 12 tbsp lime juice (180 ml)
  • 6 tbsp fish sauce
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Vietnamese Salad
  • 400 grams cabbage finely shredded (we used sugarloaf)
  • 2 medium carrots shredded, julienned or grated
  • 2 stalks celery finely sliced
  • 1 red capsicum (sweet red pepper) finely sliced
  • 1 green capsicum (green pepper) finely sliced
  • 1 fat bunch of mint (approx 80 grams) stemmed weight finely chopped (save a few leaves for garnish)
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped roasted peanuts
  • ½ cup finely chopped shallots - spring onions (only the green ends)
  1. Mix garlic, ginger, soy sauce and lime juice and coat chicken pieces. Marinate for 15 minutes but no longer than an hour.
  2. Just before you're ready to serve, cook in a hot grill pan until just done. It should only take a few minutes on each side. Don't overcook chicken.
Vietnamese Salad Dressing
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large measuring cup and stir well to combine and set aside while you make the salad.
  2. Make the dressing second so the flavors have a chance to develop while you're slicing and dicing.
Vietnamese Mint Salad
  1. In a large bowl combine the cabbage, carrot, celery, peppers and mint.
  2. Set aside while you cook the chicken.
  3. Add dressing just before serving.
  1. Place salad on serving plate and garnish with whole mint leaves, chopped peanuts and chilli slices.
  2. Arrange chicken pieces on top of salad and drizzle dressing over salad and chicken



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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Maris (In Good Taste) May 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm

What a delicious and healthy salad! Have a wonderful weekend!


Nelly Rodriguez May 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Yum, love salads like this! Looks delicious, have a great weekend darling!


lisaiscooking May 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm

The fresh, bright flavors sound great! I love this kind of crisp salad with all those pretty colors.


Jerry Ko May 28, 2011 at 12:20 am

That looks good for this weekend along with all that greasy bbq we are gonna have. This is definitely more healthful for the rest of us after we stuff ourselves. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.


Karen from Globetrotter Diaries May 28, 2011 at 2:35 am

OO loving this salad… this is totally what i’ve been craving lately as its been heating up in LA! I just saw your pavlova too– gotta love ‘em– they really are gorgeous :)


Yuri May 28, 2011 at 4:52 am

What a colorful salad! Love the veggie shot. YUM!


Martha A. Cheves May 28, 2011 at 7:52 am

I take my lunch every day and this would make a great lunch!


Junia @ Mis Pensamientos May 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

LOVE your salad!!! fresh shredded greens is wonderful and it makes it look schmancy too. :) isn’t the mandolin slicer awesome?


nilam May 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm


that’s a healthy food

I love it



EA-The Spicy RD June 1, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Happy to have found your blog, and wanted to let you know this salad looks fabulous! I love all the ingredients you included and definitely will be making this soon :-)


aarthi June 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm

This looks yummy….you have a lovely blog…I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that


Lakshmi June 14, 2011 at 9:44 am

I am a vegetarian , so I really like the vietnamese salad ….. something Ive to try


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