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Chinese Chicken Salad

You know those salads that are so good, you can’t stop thinking about them? This Chinese chicken salad is definitely one of those!

The combination of tender shredded chicken, crisp veggies, and sesame-ginger dressing is out of this world. 

And don’t even get me started on the toasted almonds and crispy chow mein noodles sprinkled on top. They take this salad to a whole new level!

Salad made of chow mien noodles, almond slices, carrots, bell peppers, napa cabbage and cilantro.
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Trust me, it’s a total game-changer. It’s become my new go-to for a quick, healthy lunch or dinner.

Plus, it’s so easy to customize with your favorite mix-ins. 

Why You’ll Love This Chinese Chicken Salad

Burst of Flavor: The combination of fresh ginger, garlic, and toasted sesame oil in the dressing creates a vibrant and complex flavor profile.

Perfect for Meal Prep: With its make-ahead components, this salad is a meal prepper’s dream.

Crispy & Crunchy Texture: The mix of shredded chicken, crunchy Napa cabbage, julienned carrots, and crispy chow mein noodles provides a satisfying variety of textures in every bite.

Crowd-Pleaser: Whether for a potluck, picnic, or family gathering, this salad is sure to appeal to a wide range of taste preferences.

Wooden spoon mixing sesame-ginger dressing on a bowl of salad.

Ingredients

  • Shredded Cooked Chicken: Tender and juicy, it adds a hearty protein boost to the salad.
  • Napa Cabbage: Crisp and refreshing, it provides a crunchy base with a mild flavor.
  • Carrots: They add a pop of color and crunch.
  • Red Bell Pepper: It’s thinly sliced for a burst of flavor and color.
  • Green Onions: Sharp and zesty, they add a fresh bite.
  • Fresh Cilantro: It brings a fresh, citrusy note to the salad.
  • Sliced Almonds: They add a satisfying crunch and richness.
  • Crispy Chow Mein Noodles: These noodles provide the perfect crispy texture.
  • Sesame-Ginger Dressing: This dressing is nutty, tangy, and slightly spicy, tying all the flavors together.
Bowl of Chinese chicken salad with wooden chopsticks on top.

How to Make Chinese Chicken Salad

This salad is restaurant-quality, but it’s so easy to make! 

1. Make the dressing. In a bowl or jar, whisk together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil while whisking constantly until emulsified. Stir in the sesame seeds. Set aside.

2. Combine the salad ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, Napa cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro. Toss well.

3. Toss with the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until everything is evenly coated. Let sit for 10 minutes for flavors to meld.

4. Add the toppings and serve. Just before serving, sprinkle the salad with the toasted almonds and chow mein noodles for crunch. Toss lightly and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Pair of wooden chopsticks scooping in a bowl of Chinese chicken salad.

Tips for the Best Chinese Chicken Salad

Follow these tips for a swoon-worthy salad.

  • Use a trusty mandoline. Quickly shred the napa cabbage and julienne the carrots using a mandoline slicer.
  • Emulsify the dressing. Slowly drizzle the oil into the dressing while whisking constantly to create a smooth, emulsified dressing.
  • Wait for the crunch. Wait to sprinkle on the almonds and chow mein noodles until just before serving so they stay crunchy.
  • Try fun variations. For protein variety, substitute shredded rotisserie chicken with cooked shrimp or sliced steak. Try adding mandarin orange segments, crispy wonton strips, edamame, or peanuts for the almonds.
  • Serve it in style. Serve the salad immediately after tossing for the best texture. Enjoy it on its own or stuffed into wraps or sandwiches.
Salad made of chow mien noodles, almond slices, carrots, bell peppers, napa cabbage and cilantro.

How to Store

Keep the salad and dressing separate in air-tight containers in the refrigerator. The undressed salad will stay fresh for 3-4 days, while the dressing can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. 

Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving for optimal freshness.

More Summer Salads Your Family Will Love

Orzo Pasta Salad
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Avocado Salad
Mexican Street Corn Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

Course: Main CourseCuisine: Chinese
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Calories

313

kcal

This Chinese chicken salad is a restaurant-quality meal you can make at home! With its crunchy texture and sweet and savory dressing, no one can pass it up.

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Ingredients

  • Sesame-Ginger Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

  • Salad:
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (from a rotisserie chicken or poached chicken breasts)

  • 1 small head napa cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)

  • 2 carrots, julienned

  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

  • 1/4 cup crispy chow mein noodles

Instructions

  • Make the dressing: In a bowl or jar, whisk together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil while whisking constantly until emulsified. Stir in the sesame seeds. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, napa cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro. Toss well.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until everything is evenly coated. Let sit for 10 minutes for flavors to meld.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle the salad with the toasted almonds and chow mein noodles for crunch. Toss lightly and serve immediately.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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