This Chinese Chicken Salad with chicken, crunchy vegetables, crispy fried noodles, and Asian Sesame dressing is a wholesome salad. It is packed with flavor and texture.
Healthy and light Chinese Chicken Salad with an Asian Sesame dressing is our new favorite salad. This salad feels refreshing with a crunch from the fried noodles and dressing which is sweet and savory. This easy salad recipe can be made for a bigger crowd.
Summer is in full swing and it is unbelievably hot in my part of the world. Going to the kitchen and preparing a meal has become a nightmare. I am trying out new salad recipes every other day which involves no or very less cooking.
Chinese chicken salad is different than other chicken salad recipes coming from the Chinese mainland as it has lettuce which is of western origin. It has its origin in 1960s America and has grown immensely in popularity after featuring in Madame Wu's restaurant.
You will find variations of the recipe in most restaurants even many nearby ones. Chinese chicken salad has also been known as Asian chicken salad or Oriental chicken salad.
On the lookout for chicken salads? You may look at - Avocado Chicken Salad, Za'atar Spiced Chicken Salad, and Chicken Pasta Salad. For more asian salads - Asian Cucumber Salad and Ramen Noodles Salad With Peanut Dressing.
Sesame Salad Dressing
The hero of this Chinese chicken salad is its zesty salad dressing. This salad gets its name from the use of popular Chinese culinary ingredients.
You may find this sesame dressing in any Asian stores or better make it at home since it is super easy and quick. I tend to make this dressing in larger quantities and store it. This way I just have to quickly chop veggies and mix them with this dressing for a quick salad.
For Sesame Dressing
- Sesame Oil - Primary driver of flavor in the dressing and salad
- Vegetable Oil -
- Soy Sauce - Use a brand with a low sodium variant.
- Rice Vinegar
- Minced Garlic & Ginger - adds freshness and flavor
- Brown Sugar
- Black pepper
Fresh Veggies: Major portion of the salad is veggies. So make sure the vegetables are fresh and have a crunch on them. Soggy or wilted vegetables would spoil the salad.
Vibrant colorful veggies not only make the salad taste better but also add lots of nutrition. I like to add 3-4 varieties of vegetables to my salad so that you can taste each one of them in every bite.
Iceberg lettuce would be the closest substitute if you don't get Chinese cabbage. You can add both cabbage and lettuce to the salad.
Go for carrots and green onions for more variety in veggies and for flavor and crunch.
Make sure you cut the veggies into bite-sized pieces.
Chicken: Here we have multiple options. You can either get a ready-made rotisserie chicken or use any leftover cooked chicken. Sometimes I also poach the chicken breast in seasoned chicken stock and then use it. So, I leave it up to you to decide what you would like to use.
Want your chicken grilled? Do that easily on a pan and it takes just a few minutes. You can use smoked paprika as a rub before grilling.
Salad Dressing: The Asian Sesame Salad dressing is really good and brings together all the components together. The dressing is sweet, and savory with a nutty flavor from the sesame seeds. Here is a little trick that does wonder to the dressing. Slightly toast sesame seeds and roughly crush in a mortar and pestle. Crushing the seeds releases aromatic oil and adds so much flavor to the dressing.
Make sure you use low sodium Soy sauce. I have found some brands are very high on salt.
Fried Noodles: Well one of the best things about this Chinese Chicken Salad is fried noodles. It adds so much crunch to it. Fried noodles are easily available in Asian grocery stores. I always keep extra on the sides while serving, because they are so addictive.
How to make
Making this asian chicken salad is one of the simplest things to do in the kitchen. It just involves a few elementary procedures like chopping, shaking and mixing.
To prepare the dressing - take all the ingredients required like oil, sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, sugar and pepper in a jar. Shake them well to get the vinaegrette ready.
To make the salad, tear all the greens, chop the tomatoes, carrots and green onions. Pour the salad dressing and add the fried noodles. Mix everything well and serve.
Like many other salads, you can store this Chinese Chicken Salad. stores well in the refrigerator. But while storing you need to store the dressing and the veggies separately. If the veggies are tossed in the dressing, it is not advisable to store them longer. The veggies start to release water and become soggy because of the salt in the dressing.
Prepare the veggies in advance and refrigerate them for up to 3-4 days. Just before serving bring everything together and serve.
I prefer to store chicken separately, not along with the veggies.
You may serve bread or garlic bread with this salad. Also sauteed or roasted veggies like that reddish, carrots, and beans go well with this Asian chicken salad.
So here is a great chicken salad for your summer barbeques or picnic.
More Summer Salad Recipes
Chinese Chicken Salad
For Sesame Salad Dressing
- ¼ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Minced
- ½ teaspoon Ginger Minced
- 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 tablespoon Vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon Rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper
For Chinese Chicken Salad
- 2 cups Chinese Cabbage Chopped
- ½ cup Purple Cabbage Chopped
- 1 large carrot shredded
- 1 Red bell pepper Chopped
- 1 cup Cooked Chicken (see notes 3)
- 1 cup Fried noodles
- ½ cup Green Onion
- ½ cup Fresh Coriander
- In a glass jar add all the ingredients mentioned under salad dressing. Shake well until everything is mixed.
- In a salad bowl, big enough to hold all the ingredients, add all the veggies except fried noodles.
- If serving immediately, add fried noodles, pour the dressing and mix everything well.
- If serving later then store veggies, dressing and fried noodles separately. Mix everything before serving.
- Make sure you use low sodium soy sauce. Else the dressing might turn salty.
- Check the seasoning, and add more sugar to the dressing if preferred.
- Poach 1 large chicken breast in a well seasoned chicken stock for about 8 minutes / Cooked through. Then cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. Chopp and use. Or You can also use leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken.