Chinese Chicken Salad takes only 15 minutes to make and is loaded with flavor. It’s a tasty lunch or dinner salad.
This Asian-style Chinese Chicken Salad is one you can quickly make and it’s so satisfying with lots of crunchy toppings and a zesty homemade ginger dressing. It definitely makes it easier to skip ordering this dish as takeout.
Is Chinese Chicken Salad Actually Chinese?
In short: no. Its origins are debated, but it most certainly is not Chinese. Calling it Chinese isn’t completely unproblematic either. We’ve decided to call it Chinese Chicken Salad so that people can find it when searching online, but we do see that it isn’t ideal and wanted to point that out here.
Uncooked vegetables are actually quite uncommon in traditional Chinese food. If you are looking for a good resource for authentic Chinese recipes and inspiration, check out The Woks Of Life.
What Kind Of Chicken Should You Use?
In this recipe, we use cooked chicken thighs as they are more flavorful and juicy. Feel free to substitute and use breast meat if you prefer. You’ll need 2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast.
Can You Make This Salad Vegetarian?
Technically it will no longer be Chinese Chicken Salad, but if you want the flavor of this salad without the meat you can simply omit the meat in this recipe. You can add chickpeas for protein instead if you’d like.
What Veggies To Use In Chinese Chicken Salad?
Once of the things that makes this salad quick to assemble is to buy pre-shredded Napa or cabbage slaw. If you can’t find shredded and prepacked cabbage slaw, you can buy fresh red, white, or Napa cabbage.
You’ll also add chopped lettuce, shredded carrot, and chopped green onion so you can also buy a bag of lettuce and shredded carrot in a pre-mixed bag or individually packaged to keep things simple.
How To Make The Dressing
In a small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, and grated fresh ginger. We are using only a half teaspoon of freshly grated ginger but if you prefer a stronger ginger flavor, add an additional half teaspoon of ginger.
Alternately, you can add all the ingredients to a jar, seal it well, and shake it until all the ingredients are well-incorporated.
What Toppings Can You Add?
This Chinese Chicken Salad tastes amazing with crunchy noodles that you can find in the international aisle of most grocery stores (They look like this). You can also top it with peanuts or sesame seeds, which add crunchiness and a nutty flavor to the salad. Mix and match and find your perfect crunch.
For another great lunch idea, try my Cottage Cheese Chicken Salad. It’s so easy and tasty!
Podcast Episode On Making Chinese Chicken Salad
Listen to our editor, Christine Pittman, explain briefly how to make this salad, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:Print
- 3 cups chopped lettuce
- 2 cups shredded Napa or cabbage slaw
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1/3 cup chopped green onion
- 5 cooked chicken thighs, shredded
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 3 tsp. soy sauce
- 2 and 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger*
- 1 cup crunchy noodles, optional
- 1/2 cup peanuts, optional
- In a large bowl, assemble and toss lettuce, cabbage, carrot, and green onion. Next, add the chicken and toss to evenly distribute throughout the salad.
- To make the dressing, whisk together rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, and grated fresh ginger.
- Pour the dressing on top of the salad and toss to combine.
- Serve with crunchy noodles and peanuts.
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*We are using only ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger but if you prefer stronger flavor, add additional ½ teaspoon of ginger.