These Chinese salad recipes are brimming with texture and taste, making them the perfect addition to any meal!
I like to turn to these dishes when I want something a bit on the lighter side.
Some are more traditional, like the chicken salad, changing a few key ingredients to give them an Asian flair.
Other recipes, like wood ear mushroom salad, might be unfamiliar to you. But it’s always fun to try new foods, right?
20 Healthy Chinese Salads You Don’t Want To Miss
Once you get a taste of this peanut salad dressing, you’ll never go back to ranch or vinaigrette again.
It’s deeply flavorful and slightly sweet with just a hint of acidic goodness from the lemon juice and rice vinegar.
If you can, cook the chicken on the grill. That smoky taste brings this salad to life.
But if you can’t, just remember to let it sit in the marinade for a good few hours.
Chickpeas are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they’re cheap to boot. In addition, they’re wonderfully filling and so easy to find.
The garlic-chili paste brings the heat, while the sweetcorn keeps things nicely balanced. I also like to throw in some chopped red onion for a peppery crunch.
Serve this alone or maybe with grilled chicken or salmon.
Although this wouldn’t be enough for a meal on its own, it makes a light and fresh side to any dish.
Better still, it takes just a few minutes to prepare!
The key to getting this right is to smash the whole cucumber before cutting. That should open it up and allow for more sauce to soak in.
Just don’t add the sauce until you’re ready to serve. The salt in it will draw out the moisture of the cucumber, making this watery the longer it sits.
Wood ear mushrooms are a type of dark and firm fungus that you’ll almost always find in dried form.
Depending on where they’re from and how they’re served, they can be crunchy, but they’ll soften when cooked.
For this recipe, you’ll need to soak them before cooking. After a few minutes in boiling water, they’ll soften enough to serve.
If you’ve never worked with mung bean jelly, don’t worry. Neither had I! But believe it or not, it’s easy enough to make.
Although, it’s even easier to buy the mung bean noodles ready-made, so if I were you, I’d just look for those.
This dish would be great with some of those wood ear mushrooms over the top.
Eggplant can be a tricky vegetable, and if they’re not ripe, you might find they’re bitter. Although I’ve had bitter and ripe eggplant before, so who knows.
In this dish, you’ll steam them, so they’ll keep their color. Then, they’re sliced and soaked in the chili and garlic sauce for around 10-15 minutes.
This salad is served cold, though you could keep it warm if you prefer.
Soba noodles are made using buckwheat, making them thick, chewy, and gluten-free. They’ll cook nice and fast and soak up flavor like a dream.
Again, this is typically served cold, but if you prefer the noodles to be warm, feel free to add the dressing right after they’re cooked.
I had these with some leftover tuna steaks, but I’ll bet shrimp would work, too.
Between the crispy wontons and tangy Asian dressing, you’ll have a hard time sharing this salad.
Adding some crunchy carrots and fresh edamame makes this super bright and vibrant, and the chicken is juicy and tender.
If you don’t want to make your own crispy wontons, you’ll find them in most big supermarkets these days.
Unlike your typical broccoli slaw that’s smothered in a creamy dressing, this lightened-up recipe keeps things pretty simple.
You’ll just need oil, rice vinegar, sugar, and a packet of ramen seasoning.
Since the texture is such a huge part of this, you’ll need fresh broccoli, not frozen.
My favorite thing about this salad is how those chilies pop on top. And since everything is green, it just looks so fresh!
If cilantro isn’t your thing, skip to the following recipe because this isn’t the same without it. You’ll need that fragrant kick to pair with the potent peppers.
You might’ve noticed that many of these dressings include sugar or honey, which are definitely not keto-friendly.
But since many Asian dressings use rice vinegar and soy sauce, two pretty strong and savory ingredients, you’ll miss the sweetness with no sugar at all.
So, for this dressing, you’ll use monk fruit sweetener.
If you have leftover rotisserie chicken and a pack of ramen noodles, you can make this simple salad in just 10 minutes.
Using a bag of coleslaw mix will speed things up and make sure the veggies are cut evenly.
And if you make Asian recipes a lot, try to find pre-grated ginger for the dressing.
I like to use ginger paste, but if you prefer the texture, look for the jars of shredded ginger.
Just don’t use ground ginger. It’s not the same, and your salad won’t have that spicy freshness.
I have kind of a love-hate relationship with okra, and usually, if it’s not fried okra, I don’t like it.
It can be slimy and mushy, which is pretty unpleasant if you’re not used to it. But when it’s fried, it loses that stickiness.
All that said, I have to warn you that the sticky goo in the okra is kind of the point of this recipe.
But since it does get lightly fried in the spices, I think you’ll like it.
Do you like coleslaw but get sick of all that excess mayo after a few bites? Try this healthier version instead.
It’s full of bright peppers, sweet oranges, and crunchy cabbage and nuts. That all gets tossed in a quick and delicious sweet chili dressing.
If you swap out the honey, you can easily keep this vegan and serve it with crispy tofu.
Kelp has a pretty unique taste, and some people even say it tastes like oysters. I find it salty and savory, and I enjoy the slight crunch.
Since it’s not super common in the US, your best bet is to check out your local Asian supermarket, where it will likely be dried.
It usually needs to be washed to remove some of the saltiness, and after a few minutes in hot water, it loses some of that bitterness, too.
Where pink dragon fruit is quite mild, yellow dragon fruit is sweet and tropical. It can be floral, too, but I find that plays well against the meaty shrimp.
Of course, if you don’t like things to be too sweet and spicy, go for the pink instead, especially since this also includes a plum dressing.
For this unusual salad, you’ll cook the peanuts in oil until the skins start to come away from the flesh.
They’ll go into a bowl with blanched spinach, and then it’s all drizzled with a fresh and acidic vinaigrette.
Vermicelli rice noodles are very thin and glass-like. As a result, they won’t take long to cook, and they don’t have a lot of flavor.
But that just means they can be used with all kinds of sauces and dressings. Plus, you can have a whole bowl of yummy noodles ready to go in a flash.
I’m a firm believer in adding extras to a salad. After all, who really wants to eat a big bowl of leaves?
Steak is the ideal addition because it’s bursting with rich flavor and loaded with protein.
It also soaks up the sweet and tangy taste of the dressing like you won’t believe.
Since this cabbage salad just calls for cabbage, green onion, and some crunchies on top, it’s definitely a side rather than a main.
The good news is that since it’s so simple, it will work with everything from roast chicken to chili salmon.
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