May 23, 2019

Vietnamese Crispy Brisket Salad

Recipe: Steven Raichlen

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Try this Vietnamese Crispy Brisket Salad recipe from the cookbook The Brisket Chronicles by Steven Raichlen.

This aromatic salad pinballs that traditional Vietnamese quintet of flavors — salty fish sauce, sour lime juice, sweet sugar, pungent garlic and fiery chiles — with crispy, meaty shreds of smoky brisket and fresh mint, cilantro and other fragrant herbs. It’s the perfect way to enjoy brisket on a hot day.



  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp sugar, plus extra as needed
  • 5 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, plus extra as needed
  • 2 tbsp Asian fish sauce, plus extra as needed
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 cup vegetable oil, or as needed, for frying
  • 1/2 pound barbecued brisket, torn into slender shreds
  • 1 seedless cucumber (such as Persian), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 serrano chiles (preferably red), or to taste, stemmed and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal
  • 2 cups stemmed mixed fresh herbs, including cilantro, Thai or conventional basil and fresh peppermint or spearmint (at least two, ideally all three)
  • 3 tbsp chopped dry-roasted peanuts


Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  1. Place the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a small mixing bowl and mash to a paste with the back of a spoon. Add the remaining sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, cold water and pepper, and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Correct the seasoning, adding lime juice, fish sauce and sugar to taste. The dressing should be highly seasoned. The dressing can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour until serving (longer than that and the garlic tends to take over).
  2. Just before serving, line a plate with paper towels. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan or wok to 350°F. Working in batches, deep-fry the shredded brisket until sizzling and crisp, 2 minutes. Transfer the brisket with a slotted spoon to the prepared plate to drain.
  3. Pour the dressing into a large serving bowl. Stir in the fried brisket shreds. Add the cucumber, chiles, scallions and herbs. Toss to mix. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve.

Excerpted from The Brisket Chronicles by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Matthew Benson. Used with permission from the publisher.