This Chinese chicken salad recipe is made with mostly ready to go ingredients. Super simple and made with a tasty Asian style dressing, this salad is one I keep ready to eat in the fridge all year long.
So let’s face it. This Chinese chicken salad recipe did not come from China. In fact it did not come from Asia.
This Chinese chicken salad recipe came from Wolfgang Puck, way back when he started fusing together Asian and California cuisine.
My recipe is not Wolfgang Puck’s. He didn’t give me his. My Chinese chicken salad recipe is one I invented years ago and it probably changes each time I make it.
It began when the kids were in elementary school and as PTO president I tried to find ways to get parents to come to the meeting. One way was to ask everyone to bring an ingredient to the meeting and then I would throw them all together and we would have lunch. Or dinner.
Chinese chicken salad worked out very well with this plan because the main ingredients in this Asian chicken salad comes from bags in the produce section.
As it turned out, the kids loved it and I loved it because without the dressing, the salad stays fresh for at least a few days in the fridge, depending on what you put in it.
Feel free to change ingredients and add your favorites. I often use whatever is on hand and so should you. Jeez. There are no rules to making this simple salad!
What ingredients are in Chinese Chicken Salad?
Begin with a bag of shredded cabbage. Add some shredded carrots and a bunch of chopped scallions.
Throw on some chopped herbs such as cilantro or mint, or not!
Add chopped celery or drained sliced water chestnuts for crunch. A bit of diced red pepper and some seeded chopped cucumbers.
Most people don’t consider this Chinese chicken salad without the addition of chow mein noodles, but they are not my favorite. I prefer crumbled rice cakes thrown on at the end so they don’t get too soggy when tossed with the scrumptious dressing.
Others love ramen noodles. No need for cooking. Just crumble and stir in. Or if you are leaning towards steering away from hidden calories leave them all out and just add some chopped peanuts.
Another possibility would be to take wonton wrappers, slice them into strips, toss with some oil and bake until crispy. But you could fry them also!
I also like the addition of drained Mandarin oranges, but don’t always have those on hand.
Top all this off with 3-4 cups of cooked chicken. This is a great recipe for leftover rotisserie chicken, but you could also poach some chicken breasts and shred them, too!
How to Make Chinese Chicken Salad style dressing:
There are lots of versions of this dressing but I prefer mine with peanut butter. Peanut butter adds lots of flavor and reminds me of the smashed cucumber salad that we ate a lot of in China.
Begin with some minced garlic cloves and ginger. If you don’t have fresh ginger on hand try those that come in the tubes in the produce section. I use them all the time.
Add in some honey, peanut butter-I prefer chunky and then mix in some Chinkiang vinegar which has a good, but distinct taste. Don’t have it? Use rice wine vinegar instead.
Little bit of soy and sesame oil and bada bing-bada boom you have lunch or dinner. Or perhaps a way to get everyone to show up at your next meeting!
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Chinese Chicken Salad is easily made with prepared ingredients from the produce section. Keep this in the fridge for a healthy lunch for when ever you are hungry!
1 16 oz package of shredded cabbage
1 10 oz package of shredded carrots
1 bunch chopped scallions
1 /2 c chopped cilantro
1/2 c sliced sugar snap or snow peas
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 c chopped or sliced mini cucumbers
1/2 c sliced almonds
3 crumbled rice cakes or 1 package of uncooked broken ramen
Sesame seeds for garnish
3 – 4 c of rotisserie or poached or leftover chicken-chopped or shredded
1/4 c chopped peanuts
4 large minced garlic cloves
2 –4 T honey
2 t ginger
4 T chunky peanut butter
2 T Chinkiang vinegar or rice vinegar
4 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
1/2 c water
Combine all salad ingredients in bowl except chicken. Stir together and toss with dressing. Place chicken on top and garnish with sesame seeds and peanuts.
To make dressing, combine minced garlic, honey, ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce and sesame oil and whisk well. Slowly stir in canola oil and whisk to create an emulsion. Stir in water until well mixed and pourable.
Optional add ins: Mandarin oranges, water chestnuts, mint, chow mein noodles, wonton strips,
If you choose to keep this on hand in the fridge, do not toss with dressing until ready to eat.
Keywords: Chinese chicken salad recipe, Chinese chicken salad dressing, Asian chicken salad,