The hero of this Chinese Chicken Salad is the Asian Dressing and crunchy noodles. It can make any bowl of fresh greens devilishly moreish! Made with cabbage, carrots, green onions and chicken, finished with sesame seeds, this is terrific for packed lunches as it keeps well for days!
This is my most made faux Asian salad. It’s “faux” because it’s in no way authentic Chinese and that’s totally ok. I love it anyway because it’s so delish, and it’s a good way to make me inhale large volumes of fresh greens.
THE ASIAN SALAD DRESSING
The Asian salad dressing I use in this salad is based on a recipe by David Chang of Momofuku. It’s made with all manner of Asiany ingredients – soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger – but there’s plenty of flex here which I’ve jotted down in the recipe notes.
I love the fresh hit of ginger and garlic in the dressing but I quite often make this salad using my standby simple Asian Sesame Dressing. Made with just soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, oil and sugar, it keeps for days, weeks even. It would be unusual if I didn’t have a jar of this lurking in the dark depths of my fridge at all times!
I think the thing that really seals the deal for me about this Chinese Chicken Salad are the crunchy noodles. I just use Chang’s Fried Noodles which are often on sale at the supermarket for around $1. Any brand will do – the thin ones I’ve used or even the wider ones. Just as long as they’re crunchy!! – Nagi x
PS This is a terrific do-ahead meal. The chopped veggies stay fresh for days in the fridge – I’ve kept them for 5 days in an airtight container – and shredded chicken can be frozen. The only thing to add fresh is the ginger and garlic in the dressing.
MORE ASIAN SALADS
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Recipe video above. This one is all about the fabulous Asian Dressing and the slaw-type shape of the ingredients. Don't skip the crunchy noodles, they totally make this! Alternative Dressing: standby Asian Sesame Dressing (keeps for weeks).
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce (Note 1)
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar (aka rice wine vinegar, or use cider vinegar)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (toasted)
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or canola or any other neutral flavored oil)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger , grated or very finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 cups Chinese cabbage (Nappa Cabbage), finely shredded (Note 2)
- 1 1/2 cups red cabbage , finely shredded
- 1 cup carrot , finely julienned (see video)
- 2 cups chicken , shredded
- 1/2 cup shallots / scallions , finely sliced on the diagonal
- 1/2 to 1 cup crunchy noodles (I use Chang's) (Note 3)
- 1 - 2 tsp sesame seeds
Combine the Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake. Set aside for 10 minutes or so for the flavours to meld.
Place the Salad ingredients together in a large bowl along with half the crunchy noodles. Drizzle over dressing then toss. (Note 4)
Divide between serving bowls. Top with more crunchy noodles and a good sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve immediately!
1. Light soy sauce is lighter in colour and flavor than ordinary soy sauce. Ordinary soy sauce is fine to use too. Do not use dark or sweet soy sauce.
Sesame oil - use toasted sesame oil (ie dark brown colour, not light yellowy untoasted sesame oil). In Australia, we don't get regular untoasted sesame oil at supermarkets, we only have toasted.
2. Chinese Cabbage is my favourite in this because it's softer than other green cabbages. If you use another green cabbage (or all red cabbage), what I'd do is to toss salad with dressing WITHOUT noodles, leave for 10 minutes to let cabbage soften slightly. Then proceed with recipe.
3. You can buy crunchy fried noodles in the Asian section of supermarkets. I don't even know if you can get them in Asian grocery stores! They are cheap - just over $1 for a packet. You can use any crunchy fried noodles - thick or thin. I use a brand called Chang's (yellow packet).
4. Make ahead: Keep salad, dressing and garnishes separate until ready to serve. Chopped salad keeps for 5 days in an airtight container. Dressing keeps for 2 to 3 days in fridge, if keeping longer, add garlic and ginger before serving. Cooked chicken keeps for 3 days in the fridge - can also be frozen.
5. Nutrition per serving assuming 3 servings, chicken breast and 1/2 cup of crunchy noodles are used.
Originally published June 2015, updated with new photos and video. No change to recipe.
LIFE OF DOZER
He wasn’t bothered by the burs. Unlike me. Prickly legs!!!