Kid-friendly Vietnamese "Goi Gà" Shredded Noodle Cabbage Salad Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Vietnamese "Goi Gà" Shredded Noodle Cabbage Salad

Recipe: Vietnamese "Goi Gà" Shredded Noodle Cabbage Salad

Vietnamese "Goi Gà" Shredded Noodle Cabbage Salad

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Dylan Sabuco
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
10 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Vietnamese "Goi Gà" Shredded Noodle Cabbage Salad

We love a dish with lots of veggies, and Vietnamese "Goi Gà" (Goy Gah) salad is one of the very best! A cornerstone of family gatherings and festive occasions, "Goi Gà" embodies the very soul of Vietnamese cuisine—fresh, flavorful, and exquisitely balanced. Although "Goi gà" literally means "chicken salad" in Vietnamese, our take is entirely plant-based, composed simply of an abundance of veggies. Imagine the crunch of fresh cabbage and carrots, the bite of crisp radishes, and the pop of aromatic herbs tumbled together with rice noodles and drizzled with a bright, umami-rich dressing. YUM!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • shred :

    to reduce food into small shreds or strips (similar to grate).

Equipment Checklist

  • Large pot
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Colander or strainer
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Grater
  • Citrus juicer (optional)


Vietnamese "Goi Gà" Shredded Noodle Cabbage Salad

  • 1/2 head of green cabbage OR 2 C pre-shredded cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 C radishes
  • 1 C flat rice noodles (1 C is roughly half of an 8-oz pkg)
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tsp soy sauce **(for GLUTEN/SOY ALLERGY sub coconut aminos)**
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil **
  • 3 C water
  • 2 T mint leaves OR 2 T cilantro leaves

Food Allergen Substitutions

Vietnamese "Goi Gà" Shredded Noodle Cabbage Salad

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute coconut aminos for soy sauce.
  • Soy: Substitute coconut aminos for soy sauce. Substitute canola oil or other nut-free high-smoking point oil for vegetable oil, which usually contains soy.


Vietnamese "Goi Gà" Shredded Noodle Cabbage Salad


Xin chào! (Sin jow) or "Hello!" in Vietnamese. Goi Gà (Goy Gah) is a Vietnamese salad traditionally made by combining noodles, chicken, cabbage, and carrots. "Goi gà" literally means "chicken salad," after all. This vibrant concoction is perfect as a side dish or a main course. Our Sticky Fingers Cooking version will replace the chicken with crispy fried and tender radishes. The best part about this dish is that the longer you allow all the ingredients to mingle, the more flavorful the dish becomes.

boil + stir

In a large pot, bring 3 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil and then add 1 cup flat rice noodles. Stir the noodles a few times to prevent them from sticking together. Cook them for 5 minutes. Drain into a colander and reserve for later.

grate + chop

Grate or slice 1/2 head of green cabbage (or if using pre-shredded cabbage, measure 2 cups shredded cabbage) and 1 medium carrot into a large mixing bowl. Then, chop 1 cup of radishes into quarters and set them aside to cook.

sauté + toss

In the same pot that you cooked the noodles, measure and add 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and turn the heat to medium high. Pour in the radishes and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. If you are making the Frizzled Fried Shallots (see recipe), you can cook the shallots at the same time as the radishes. Remove the radishes (and shallots, if making) from the pot and add the radishes to the cabbage and carrots. Make sure to add all the oil from cooking as well. This will help create a dressing.

juice + measure + mix

Cut 1 lime in half and squeeze the juice over the mixture of veggies in the bowl. Measure 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon salt and add those to the bowl. Now for the noodles! Pour the noodles into the bowl and toss everything together with a wooden spoon.

tear + serve

Tear about 2 tablespoons of mint or cilantro leaves and sprinkle them over the Goi Gà! All the vibrant colors and flavors will surely make you and your kids say "ooh la la la!" Say “Thưởng thức” (Toong took) before you dig in! This means "Enjoy" in Vietnamese.

Surprise Ingredient: Radish!

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Photo by marisc/

Hi! I'm Radish!

"You may have seen me sliced in a salad, with my red exterior and white interior. Did you know that I'm the root of a plant?! I come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, have a distinctive, slightly peppery taste, and add a fresh crunch to your salad." 

History & Etymology

  • The radish (Raphanus sativus) is an edible root vegetable grown in Asia for over 2,000 years. The ancient Romans and Greeks cultivated radishes in the first century CE. 
  • Although radishes are present throughout the world and have been around for a very long time, there is no solid archaeological evidence of their origin. However, wild forms of the plants have been found in Southeast Asia, so scientists think they may have been domesticated there. Secondary forms have been found in Central Asia, China, and India.
  • Radishes were among the first vegetable crops introduced to the Americas from Europe. 
  • In Oaxaca, Mexico, the annual Noche de Rabanos (Night of the Radishes) festival takes place on December 23. Sculptors carve scenes of Oaxacan life, biblical stories, and mythical creatures out of giant radishes.
  • According to Guinness World Records, a health product company in Japan grew the world's heaviest radish. The radish was a cross between a Sakurajima radish (the largest) and a Taibyo-Sobutori radish and weighed about the same as a baby hippo at 101 pounds! The company produces a fermented food product made for growing plants. They must have used it on this radish! 
  • The word "radish" comes from the Middle English "radich," from the Old English "rædic," from the Latin "radix, radic-" or "root."


  • Radishes are members of the flowering plant family Brassicaceae. Their cousins include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, mustard, and turnip. 
  • The radish is the edible taproot of the plant, which swells to a round, globe shape or an oblong, tapered shape. The roots can be white, pink, red, purple, yellow, green, and black; their crisp flesh is usually white. 
  • Radishes' strong, slightly spicy, and pungent flavor is caused by various chemical compounds, including allyl isothiocyanates (mustard oil), also present in mustard, horseradish, and wasabi. They make good companion plants in gardens because they help keep away pests. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Radishes are harvested before they flower. Spring varieties are generally milder than summer and winter types. 
  • The Daikon (Japanese for "big root") is a large white winter radish from Asia with a milder flavor than the small red radish. The average Daikon weighs one to two pounds but can grow much larger. They are often pickled or served with sashimi (sliced raw fish). 
  • Pickled radish, or "chikin-mu" (chicken radish) in Korean, is served with Korean fried chicken. The radishes are pickled with vinegar, water, and salt. 
  • Pickled yellow radish is served with a couple of South Korean dishes: "jajangmyeon," a black noodle dish, and "gimbap," bite-sized rolls of seaweed filled with cooked rice, fish, meat, and vegetables. 
  • Because radishes add a fresh, peppery flavor and crunch, they are most often found in salads. You can also add them to sandwiches and burgers. 


  • Radishes are a low-fat, low-calorie addition to your diet. They contain antioxidants and have a moderate amount of vitamin C and smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals.

What is "Goi Gà"?

Photo by AS Foodstudio/
  • "Goi Gà" (Goy Gah) is a Vietnamese Chicken Salad similar to a slaw. The Vietnamese word "Goi" means "salad," anà "Ga" is "chicken." The salad consists of shredded white and red cabbage, carrots, onions, peanuts, Vietnamese coriander, and shredded chicken. The dressing may include lemon or lime juice, sugar, garlic, and fish sauce, which add sweet, tangy, and umami flavors to the salad.
  • Sticky Fingers Cooking has a version that replaces the chicken with fried radishes: Vietnamese "Gài Ga" Shredded Noodle Cabbage Salad.

Let's Learn About Vietnam!

Photo by Le Manh Thang/
  • The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is in Southeast Asia. Its government is a Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic. China is on Vietnam's northern border, Cambodia and Laos border it to the west, the Gulf of Thailand is southwest, and the South China Sea borders it on the south and east. The country is long, narrow, and shaped like an "S." At its most narrow point, it is only 30 miles wide.
  • Vietnam's total area is 331,699, and the population in 2019 was over 96 million. Hanoi is the capital city, and Ho Chi Minh City is the largest. 
  • The national language is Vietnamese, and French is spoken as a second language by many older, educated residents of former South Vietnam due to French colonial rule. Minority groups may speak different languages in various parts of the country. English is also frequently taught in schools.
  • The Vietnamese language has six different tones. The meaning of a word will change with a change in tone. This makes their language somewhat challenging to learn.
  • Vietnam has been under the rule of other countries throughout its history, first under China from 111 BCE until 939 CE, when an independent dynasty appeared. The French colonized Vietnam in 1887. Then, in 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared independence from France. However, France claimed power again during the First Indochina War, but Vietnam was victorious in 1954. The Vietnam War began soon after, and the country was divided into communist North Vietnam and anti-communist South Vietnam. After the war, which the North won in 1975, the country was reunified as a socialist state.
  • Vietnam exports the most black pepper and cashews in the world and is the second-largest exporter of rice and coffee.
  • There are several floating fishing villages in Halong Bay on the northeastern coast of Vietnam. Boats and houseboats are tied together, where people live, work, shop, and go to school, so inhabitants rarely have to put their feet on land.  
  • Due to the narrow streets and expensive cars and taxes, Vietnam has about 50 million motorbikes on the roads every day. Some people have two motorbikes, one for work and one for pleasure. 
  • Popular sports are football (soccer), table tennis (ping-pong), volleyball, badminton, and martial arts. 
  • Vietnamese cuisine consists of five basic tastes (elements): bitter (fire), salty (water), sour (wood), spicy (metal), and sweet (earth). It is known for its fresh, healthy ingredients, and rice is a staple, as it is in many Asian countries. Spring rolls, "pho" ("fuh"), a dish with noodles, broth, herbs, and meat, and "banh mi," a sandwich on a baguette filled with meat, cucumber, cilantro, and pickled veggies, are three well-known Vietnamese dishes found in the United States.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Vietnam?

  • Family is very important in Vietnam, and children may live with their parents and grandparents, and maybe even aunts and uncles. 
  • Since children make up almost a quarter of the population, schools are overcrowded, and the school day may be either a morning or afternoon shift six days a week. School uniforms are required. Primary school is required from ages six to eleven, and after exams, it is determined whether a student will go on to a secondary school or a vocational school. 
  • Kids who live in rural parts of the country may need to help with crops or livestock, and you might see them leading or riding domesticated animals, like water buffalo. 
  • Sports they participate in include soccer, badminton, tennis, karate, swimming, and cycling. In addition, kids may play group games like Cat and Mouse or Dragon and Snake or board games like "O an quan."
  • Kids may eat similar things for breakfast and lunch, such as pho, spring rolls, or banh mi, although they may eat oatmeal or pastries for breakfast in the cities. 

That's Berry Funny

How does a farmer mend his pants? 

With Cabbage patches!

Lettuce Joke Around

Why didn’t the cabbage win the race?

He wasn’t ahead of lettuce!

Lettuce Joke Around

What's the coolest vegetable? 

A rad-ish!

That's Berry Funny

What do you call a cabbage with a body? 

Head and shoulders above the rest.

THYME for a Laugh

Any leftover cabbage can and will be shredded and mixed with mayonnaise.

That's Cole's Law!

That's Berry Funny

What do you call a German cabbage that's getting clean? 


The Yolk's On You

Why couldn't the radish finish the race?

He was just a little beet.

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