Homemade salad doesn’t always have to be boring lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, and mushy croutons. If you are looking to improve your salad game, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we ‘re not going to be making a regular salad, we’re making a delicious Chinese chicken salad. This super easy salad recipe is entirely homemade, right down to the dressing. Get your aprons, put your cooking game face on, and let’s get to it, shall we?
Chinese Chicken Salad: A Popular Entree in America
Chinese chicken salad is a popular meal that includes minced chicken and a handful of Chinese ingredients that are well-known in the U.S. Although there are many variations of this classic salad, the basic features of a Chinese chicken salad include lettuce (or cabbage), chicken (white meat), deep-fried wonton, vegetables like carrots, and nuts (peanuts, almonds, or cashews).
Another common feature in Chinese chicken salads is the delicious Asian dressing. A vinaigrette for the salad typically includes ingredients, such as vegetable oil, citrus juice, sesame oil, and soy sauce.
Additional seasonings also include sesame seeds, coriander, ginger, uncooked ramen noodles, edamame, bean sprouts, and bell peppers. In restaurants, Chinese chicken salads are more decorated and are typically served as an entree, similar to popular choices like Caesar, Chef, and Cobb salads.
Is Chinese Chicken Salad Healthy?
Since we don’t know what restaurants put in their Chinese chicken salads, you can’t be sure; but if you make it at home, depending on the ingredients you use and how much, a Chinese chicken salad can be very healthy.
The kind of chicken you use is important. If you use breast meat as opposed to dark meat, the salad will naturally have less cholesterol and fat. The other ingredients matter, as well. Vegetables such as celery, onion, and any other produce included in the mix will add minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
Chinese Chicken Salad Ingredients
While you can add anything you desire to this salad, this recipe cuts it down to the tasty essentials that make a delicious Chinese chicken salad. So, feel free to subtract ingredients you think are optional. Before we get started, did you know that Cabbage makes a wonderful main ingredient in salads? It’s crispier than lettuce, it’s very affordable, and the benefits are plentiful.
Okay, back to the recipe! Our Chinese chicken salad will require the following:
- Chicken. Rotisserie chicken works great! If you favor cooking your own chicken beforehand, that works as well.
- Napa cabbage. Napa cabbage is lighter than regular cabbage. If you can’t find it, plain old green cabbage will do.
- Red cabbage. The more shredded, the better.
- Carrots (Shredded)
- Cilantro. Not a big fan of cilantro? It’s your recipe! Maybe switch it up with some scallions instead.
- Chow mein noodles. You’ll find it in most grocery stores.
- Sesame seeds
Additional optional ingredients:
- Uncooked ramen noodles
- Bean sprouts
- Bell peppers
- Wonton crisps
- Bok choy
- Rice noodles
- Mandarin oranges
- Pea Pods (Snow peas or any sweet green pea)
Salad Dressing Ingredients
This wonderful dressing will elevate your salad game, no doubt. You can find everything in most grocery stores. You don’t need any fancy ingredients.
- Rice vinegar (A rice wine vinegar substitute is champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar.)
- Soy sauce
- Canola oil
- Toasted sesame oil
- Hoisin sauce (Easy to find in the spice and sauces section of any grocery store.)
- Ginger (Go for the fresh ginger! You can always store it in the freezer for future uses–it freezes wonderfully.)
Got everything? Let’s get to chopping…
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 15 minutes | Servings: 6 servings | Calories: 301
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 4 cups cooked chicken shredded or diced
- 1 bunch scallions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro minced
- 1 pound Napa cabbage cored and finely shredded (about 4 cups)
- 2 cups red cabbage cored and finely shredded
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup chow mein noodles
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
To Make the Salad Dressing
In a small pot, whisk together the soy sauce, oil, ginger, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. Let flavors blend at room temperature while preparing the salad. For best result: keep it refrigerated for up to 2-3 days.
To Make the Salad
In a large pot, add your chicken, green and red cabbage, scallions, carrots, and everything else. Pour the salad dressing and toss to mix. Sprinkle with some chow mein noodles or whatever you end up using.
If you’re not a fan of some of the ingredients used in the recipe, you can also take out or add more vegetables- whatever fits your taste buds.
Making a healthy Chinese food doesn’t have to cost you a fortune if you know a good recipe. With some simple changes, you can create a great entree and serve it to friends and family.
If you want to keep this meal as healthy as possible, consider the side you plan on serving. What you serve your salad with will also play a role in the overall nutritional value of the meal, but we’ll leave that up to you.