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Vietnamese salad with cucumber and pickled carrot on a white platter

Vietnamese Salad with Pickled Carrot

This is a crunchy fresh Vietnamese salad with a knockout dressing to suit any day of the week. Eat it at a BBQ or with a store bought roast chicken. You can't go wrong with this one.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 31 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish, video
Cuisine Asian Inspired
Servings 6
Calories 380 kcal


Salad ingredients

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 250 gm cucumber sliced finely
  • 100 gm Spanish onion sliced into fine julienne
  • 200 gm Cherry Tomatoes 1/2'd
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves picked ( save the stems and roots)
  • 1 bunch mint leaves picked
  • 1 bunch Thai basil leaves picked

Nuoc mam cham dressing

  • 150 ml lime juice
  • 50 gm sugar fine white
  • 20 ml fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 30 gm ginger grated
  • 20 gm garlic 5 cloves rough chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander roots and stems chopped

Pickled Carrot

  • 500 gm carrot peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 Tablespoons salt flakes or sea salt
  • 250 ml vinegar rice vinegar
  • 400 gm sugar white sugar
  • 50 gm ginger peeled and sliced very thinly


  • Make the pickled carrots first as they are better the day after they are made. Once the carrots are sliced put them in a colander and sprinkle them with salt. Toss the salt through the carrot and let it drain for at least 30 minutes.

  • Wash the carrots very well and drain again.
    Put the carrots into a container or a large jar.
  • Meantime put the sliced ginger, vinegar and sugar into a pot and bring it just to the point where the sugar melts.
    Pour the vinegar liquid over the carrots while it is just warm to the touch. If the liquid is too hot the carrots will cook. One in a jar or container store in the refrigerator.
  • Make the dressing in a large jar with a lid. Add the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce ( or soy sauce) garlic, ginger, chilli and chopped coriander roots. Shake well. Test the result. it should be sweet sour and salty. Let this stand in the fridge. It will keep for weeks like this.
  • Wash and drain the iceberg lettuce and break up into edible chunks. Sprinkle over all of the sliced onions, tomato, herbs. Drain the carrots a little and add some to the salad before tossing. You will only need 1/2 or even a 1/4 of them. Reserve the rest for another time
  • Drain the bits from the dressing and pour over the lettuce salad and toss well to cover the salad leaves in the dressing. Its best to dress just before you serve.


Pickled Carrots are the best thing to keep in the fridge. Make them 2 hours to 24 hours before you need them.
The dressing will also last a couple of weeks in the fridge drained or undrained.
Dress the salad just before serving as it will start to wilt a bit as it sits and soaks up the dressing.
Keyword Salad