This Chinese chicken salad recipe features a plethora of crunchy veggies, tender strips of chicken, and crispy fried noodles.
All that goodness is tossed together in an herby, tangy dressing to create terrific flavors. It can also keep well for days— a marvelous choice for busy bees who wish to maintain their clean eating between schedules.
What Is Chinese Chicken Salad?
Chinese chicken salad is a salad comprised of chopped chicken, a veggie mix, and a hearty vinaigrette. All the ingredients are tossed together before serving.
The veggie mix in Chinese chicken salad usually calls for lettuce, cabbage, and a variety of nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc.). For the dressing, usually, you’ll have vegetable oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, mustard, and a dash of ginger whisked together.
In America, it can be served either as an entrée salad or a side dish. In most variations, people tend to enjoy Chinese chicken salad with ramen noodles, rice vermicelli, and wonton wrappers.
Is Chinese Chicken Salad Healthy?
Featuring a generous amount of leafy greens and stripped chicken breast, we can say with certainty that this salad is healthy.
Chinese chicken salad is also an excellent low-carb choice for Keto dieters. It delivers 250 calories and only 14 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
This Chinese chicken salad recipe features a rainbow of crunchy veggies and savory chicken as the main ingredients. It presents a surprisingly wholesome and nutritious protein salad.
In this Chinese chicken salad, we use shredded chicken breast to keep the salad as low in fat as possible. But worry not— if you don’t have time to prep, a leftover rotisserie chicken can also work wonderfully for this salad.
To boost the flavor, you can also marinate the chicken with the dressing before roasting or grilling it. Just a suggestion to take full advantage of the aromatic dressing!
2. Veggie Mix
We opted for Chinese cabbage (here’s for its nutritional value) and red cabbage for this salad recipe. Together with carrots and scallions, they create a colorful veggie mix with diverse flavors and textures.
Cabbage is undoubtedly the must-have main ingredient in this salad. It’s budget-friendly and delivers a crispy mouthfeel after getting all the flavors from both the chicken and the dressing.
When adding cabbage to salads, regardless of the type of cabbage you’re using, it’s important to shred it thinly. The finer and thinner the cabbage strips, the easier it will be for you to toss them.
You also have other options available to substitute in place of red cabbage. Namely, these are napa cabbage, iceberg lettuce, bok choy, and romaine lettuce.
Note that the texture is different for each of them. For example, in comparison with red cabbage, napa cabbage is fluffier, while iceberg lettuce is crispier and sturdier.
Romaine lettuce also has a coarse and super crispy texture, but it’s significantly stronger in taste compared to the rest. If using vegetables that are bold or slightly bitter in taste, you might have to adjust the amount of vinaigrette.
Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing
In this Chinese chicken salad recipe, we make the dressing by combining soy sauce, canola oil, sugar, ginger, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. They’re all common Asian ingredients that you can find easily at grocery stores.
Canola oil is our choice for the dressing base thanks to its neutral taste. In the same style, grapeseed oil can also produce a similar result.
Rice vinegar can be used interchangeably with champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Also, if you prefer it to be sweeter rather than salty, consider going for hoisin sauce instead of regular soy sauce.
This homemade salad dressing is sweet, tangy, and sour all at the same time. It can last up to a week in the fridge, so feel free to make a batch and save it for later use.
How to Make Chinese Chicken Salad
Boil the chicken: Boil the whole-piece chicken breasts for 15 minutes. Chill. Use a fork to pull the chicken breasts apart into thin strips.
Make the sauce: Whisk together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, ground black pepper, garlic, soy sauce, and salt.
Deep-fry the egg noodles: Deep-fry the egg noodles until crisp. Drain excess oil.
Toss with the sauce: Combine Chinese cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, shredded chicken, and half of the scallions in a bowl. Toss them together with the sauce.
Assemble and garnish: Divide the salad into serving plates. Put the crispy fried noodles on top. Sprinkle sesame seeds and the remaining scallions and serve.
What to Serve with Chinese Chicken Salad
With this Chinese chicken salad, you have plenty of room to get creative. Feel free to use your preferred type of noodles!
You can also add more of your favorite nuts and fruits to the salad bowl, such as almonds or oranges. Or, you can stick to just cabbages (see our quick and tasty coleslaw salad.)
1. Egg Noodles
The main reason we chose egg noodles to serve in this Chinese chicken salad is because of their texture and flavor. These rich and thick egg noodles are the best choices when it comes to soaking up sauces.
Normally, egg noodles are easily recognized by their broad, thick, and flat threads and bright yellow color. Chow mein and lo mein are also varieties of egg noodles.
Egg noodles have double the amount of fat that goes into pasta, which takes roughly 20% of the dough. This is why it has a sturdier and firmer texture.
Besides salads, egg noodles are often seen in soups, casseroles, and dishes made with creamy sauces.
Ramen noodles, similar to egg noodles, also have a bright yellow color. However, they are differentiated by their round-shaped threads and aren’t usually made from eggs.
Ramen noodles can be fried just like egg noodles. In the same vein, wonton wrappers can also be used for the same purpose.
Other recipes you can try:
- Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe
- Chicken Salad With Grapes Recipe
- Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe
- Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe
- Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe
Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe
- 8 oz skinless boneless chicken breast shredded
- 8 oz Chinese cabbage
- 2 oz red cabbage
- 2 oz carrots
- 1/2 cup scallions chopped, divided
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp ginger grated
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1.5 oz egg noodles
- 1 cup canola oil (*)
- For Chinese cabbage and red cabbage: Slice their heads into quarters and core. You can use either a knife or a mandoline slicer to cut them into thin ribbons.
- Julienne the carrots. Chop the scallions diagonally.
- Boil the whole-piece chicken breasts for 15 minutes. Chill.
- Use a fork to pull the chicken breasts apart into thin strips.
- Make the sauce: Whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, ground black pepper, garlic, soy sauce, and salt.
- Deep-fry the egg noodles until crisp. Drain excess oil.
- Combine Chinese cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, shredded chicken, and half of the scallions in a bowl. Toss them together with the sauce.
- Divide the salad into serving plates. Put the crispy fried noodles on top. Sprinkle sesame seeds and the remaining scallions.
1. How Many Calories Are in Chinese Chicken Salad?
You can get 249 calories from one serving of this Chinese chicken salad.
2. How Long Does Chinese Chicken Salad Last?
Chinese chicken salad can stay fresh and edible for up to 3 days in the fridge. Preservation in an airtight container is required.
3. Can You Freeze Chinese Chicken Salad?
Shredded chicken can be frozen separately before tossing together with the veggie mix and the dressing. However, leftover Chinese chicken salad can also be frozen.
Frozen Chinese chicken salad can be reheated easily in the microwave. However, be aware that its original flavor and texture might not be retained.