Chinese Chicken Salad is a light, refreshing dish that can be eaten year-round. This recipe is so quick and easy to make. A combination of crispy shredded Nappa cabbage & red cabbage, edamame, crunchy shredded carrots, green onions, sliced almonds, juicy Darling Clementines, and shredded chicken tossed in a homemade Sesame Vinaigrette. Packed with delicious veggies and lean protein, this Chinese Chicken Salad is sure to satisfy!
Chinese Chicken Salad
I’ve been in a serious salad frenzy. A few weeks ago hubby bought a bunch of those premade salads with all the fixings. I was really inspired some of the flavor combos and unique crunchy add-ins. Got me thinking how I need to share more amazing salad recipes with you all.
So here is one that I love for Chinese Chicken Salad. This time I kept it pretty simple, of course with out sacrificing flavor.
Darling Citrus sent me some beautiful clementines so I added those gems into the mix. I also just used a ready made rotisserie chicken and this came together in a snap.
The clementines were juicy and sweet and proved to be the perfect compliment to my homemade sesame ginger vinagrette.
What is Chinese Chicken Salad?
One of the top questions about this dish is ‘is Chinese Chicken Salad actually Chinese?’ The answer, surprisingly, is no. While we don’t know the exact origin of the salad, we do know that it originated right here in the United States. Many believe that it was one of the first examples of fusion dishes in modern American cuisine.
While the ingredients in this Asian-inspired salad vary based on the recipe, there are a few staples: cabbage, chicken, crunchy noodles or wonton strips, and a Chinese-style vinaigrette. Many people also include a citrus fruit (I use Darling Clementines in mine) for a sweet and savory combination.
To make this flavorful Asian-inspired salad, you’ll need the following key ingredients:
- Rotisserie chicken. To keep things nice and easy, I like to use rotisserie chicken in this recipe. All you have to do is shred it up before adding it to your salad!
- Cabbage. This serves as the base of our salad. To ensure we have lots of colors, you’ll want to use both Napa cabbage and red cabbage. A mandoline is your best friend here, but you can also buy a bag of coleslaw mix if you don’t want to shred it by hand.
- Carrots. You can shred the carrots yourself or buy a bag of pre-shredded carrots at the grocery store.
- Edamame. This is loaded with plant-based protein and fiber, which helps to ensure that this salad keeps you feeling satisfied.
- Darling Clementines. I absolutely love using Darling clementines to add a sweet element to this salad. The citrus flavors do a really amazing job of brightening up the dish and making it taste even more amazing.
- Sesame vinaigrette. This salad dressing is made from a base of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger, and sriracha. It’s absolutely delicious and pairs nicely with the flavors of the dish.
- Crunchy noodles. These add the perfect crunch to our salad! If you can’t find any at the store, you can use wonton strips instead.
How to make Chinese Chicken Salad
Once you’ve chopped and shredded your ingredients, this delicious Chinese Chicken Salad requires just a few simple steps to throw together. I like to prep everything beforehand, so all it takes is combining it all in a bowl and topping it off with garnishes.
To Make the Sesame Vinaigrette:
- To a blender, add all the vinaigrette ingredients and blend until combined (30 seconds).
- Allow flavors to blend at room temperature while preparing the rest of the salad.
To make Chinese Salad Salad:
- In a large bowl, add the salad ingredients. Drizzle with salad dressing and toss to combine.
- To garnish, sprinkle with chow mein noodles and sesame seeds.
Tips for Chinese Chicken Salad
Want to make the absolute best Chinese Chicken Salad? Here are some of my top tips to help you make that happen:
- If you want to try out a different protein, you can swap out the rotisserie chicken for shrimp or tofu.
- Don’t feel like shredding your own cabbage and carrots at home? I don’t blame you! To save some time, you can buy a bag of coleslaw mix at the store.
- If you can’t find crunchy noodles, wonton strips will work great too. You should be able to find those in the Asian section of the international aisle or in the salad dressing aisle at most grocery stores.
- To keep your crunchy noodles crisp, leave them out until you’re ready to serve the salad. When storing the dish for later, store the noodles separately and add them in when you’re ready to enjoy it again.
- Making this dish ahead of time? Store the salad ingredients, dressing, and garnishes in separate containers to preserve their textures. Then, refrigerate them for up to 8 hours before serving. Make sure not to mix the dressing in until you’re ready to serve.
- You can store this Chinese Chicken Salad leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Now it's your turn!
In addition to being a full meal, this Chinese Chicken Salad is also perfect as an appetizer or side dish. It can be served at any time of year and pairs well with so many dishes!
If you enjoy the recipe, please share it with your friends and family. And don’t forget to give me some five-star love down below. And if you have any comments or questions, leave them below too, and I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.
Sesame Vinaigrette (1 cup)
- ¼ cup grapeseed oil or avocado oil
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 cups pre-cooked skinless chicken breasts shredded
- 5 cups Chinese cabbage Nappa Cabbage, finely shredded (Note 2)
- 1½ cups red cabbage finely shredded
- 1 cup carrot shredded carrots
- ¼ cup shelled edamame
- ¼ cup sliced almonds for serving
- 3 green onion thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 4 Darling Clementines peeled & segmented
- ½ to 1 cup crunchy noodles or wonton crisps
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
To make the sesame vinaigrette:
- To a blender add all the vinaigrette ingredients and blend until combined (30 seconds). Allow flavors to blend at room temperature while preparing the rest of the salad.
To make the salad:
- In a large bowl, add the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with salad dressing and toss to combine. Sprinkle with chow mein noodles and sesame seeds, if using.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
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