Light Crispy Chinese Chicken Salad

Lightly dressed Chinese Chicken Salad with grilled chicken, crunchy wontons, toasted almonds, and sprinkled with sesame seeds over a crunchy napa cabbage and carrot salad. Done in 15 minutes!

Chinese Chicken Salad heaped on plate

Chinese Chicken Salad made “Light”

Sometimes you want a light salad instead of a deliciously indulgent Asian meal (Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti, Thai Chicken Linguine, Orange Peel Chicken, Spicy Cashew Chicken, Chow Mein, Mushroom Chicken, Asian Peanut Noodles) <- Can you tell I love Asian Food? This Chinese chicken salad is so quick and easy, and with my modifications to the recipe, it is really light on the fat and calories! You won’t miss any of your favorite flavors because this dressing has hoisin sauce and sesame oil and it is covered in crispy wontons and toasted slivered almonds. Your stomach will think you’re throwing caution to the wind but your head will know better! 😉 Chinese Salad with cabbage and carrots on white serving plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extra Cabbage? Think Chinese Chicken Salad.

The other great thing about this salad is it uses a lot of napa cabbage. Why is that so great? Because when you buy napa cabbage you end up with 2-3 pounds of it! I have yet to find a recipe that uses a whole head of the cabbage! So when I bought the cabbage for another recipe (whomp, whomp that was a recipe fail) I got to almost all the rest of it on this recipe. So if you want a tip for this salad, plan for either doubling this recipe for a crowd or for an alternate napa cabbage recipe for another day (perhaps my Korean Ground Beef with Wilted Slaw?).

Toasted almonds for Chinese chicken salad

How to Make Chinese Chicken Salad

  1. Put the sliced almonds in a dry pan and toast on medium for 1-2 minutes until they JUST start to brown and you can smell them. Swirl them around the pan to avoid burning.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook on grill pan (I have an awesome double sided one I used, with a grill side and a griddle side) for 3-5 minutes on each side on medium-high.  Once cooked, cut chicken crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, ginger, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, salt and vinegar for the Chinese chicken salad dressing.
  4. In a large bowl add the chicken, cabbage (I use a mandoline for the cabbage and carrots), carrots, scallions, cilantro, and half of the almonds with enough dressing to coat lightly.
  5. Toss together, add the crispy wonton strips and mound salad in center of 4 plates.
  6. Re-whisk dressing and drizzle a little over and around salad. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds and sesame seeds.

Grilling chicken for Chinese Chicken Salad dish

Chinese chicken salad ingredients ready to mix

 Adding Chinese Chicken Salad dressing to Chinese Chicken Salad
Chinese salad with chopsticks

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Light Chinese Chicken Salad

Lightly dressed Chinese Chicken Salad with grilled chicken, crunchy wontons, toasted almond and sprinkled with sesame seeds over a crunchy napa cabbage and carrot salad. Done in 15 minutes!
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Chinese
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 lb napa cabbage , halved lengthwise, very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 carrots , julienned
  • 3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup crispy wontons
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds , toasted
  • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Put the sliced almonds in a dry pan and toast on medium for 1-2 minutes until they JUST start to brown and you can smell them. Swirl them around the pan to avoid burning.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook on grill pan for 3-5 minutes on each side on medium-high.
  • In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, ginger, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, salt and vinegar.
  • Cut chicken crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices.
  • In a large bowl, toss chicken, cabbage, carrots, scallions, cilantro, and half of the almonds with enough dressing to coat lightly.
  • Add in the wonton strips and toss lightly again.
  • Mound salad in center of 4 plates.
  • Re-whisk dressing and drizzle a little over and around salad.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining almonds and sesame seeds.

Notes

Adapted from a Curtis Stone Recipe in Redbook.

Nutrition

Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 801mg | Potassium: 932mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5715IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Chinese Chicken Salad

Lightly dressed Chinese Chicken Salad with grilled chicken, crunchy wontons, toasted almond and sprinkled with sesame seeds over a crunchy napa cabbage and carrot salad. Done in 15 minutes!

Lightly dressed Chinese Chicken Salad with grilled chicken, crunchy wontons, toasted almond and sprinkled with sesame seeds over a crunchy napa cabbage and carrot salad. Done in 15 minutes!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

    1. Any substitute would adjust the flavor but you can mis 1 cup (minus 3 tablespoons) thick barbecue sauce, 3 tablespoons molasses, 4 teaspoons soy sauce, 4 teaspoons yeast extract, and 2 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder to achieve a similar flavor substitute. Hope this helps!

  1. Very good and pretty simple. I added a little bit of spring mix to the bottom and 1/4 of low mein noodles on top(ripped off an item from a local restaurant) the only thing I would say is I would like the dressing to be a little thicker so might have added a little more hoisin.

  2. This was way too salty. Does not need that 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt at all. I love everything about the salad except the dressing. Didn’t have won ton wrappers, so I replaced the crunch with cruncy chow main noodles.

    1. So sorry, this comment got snared in the spam filter! I may make the salt optional because I know people have very different reactions to sodium (I actually make this with 3/4 tsp Kosher salt for us but toned it down for the post). Glad you enjoyed it otherwise and the crunchy chow mein noodles are a great quick swap option!

  3. This was the most amazing Chinese Chicken Salad! The dressing was luscious and my husband raved about it. We are on a low carb regime, so the only minor change I made was to use half the amount of hoison sauce and the flavor was still brilliant. Oddly enough I substituted chicharones (pork rinds) instead of the crisp wonton strips due to their no carb nature; this may sound gross but the cracklings were was yummy and fit right in with the slivered almonds and sesame seeds. Also the salad was quite filling and satisfied us both. Yum!

  4. My husband would love this salad. I have a huge jar of sesame seeds and I was thinking the other day about what I should make! Answered!

  5. Oh my goodness, this is my favorite meal at Cheesecake Factory. I order it every time I go there. I am so pinning this so I can make it!

  6. This has my name all over, low carb, high protein/veg. Perfect for my dietary protocol.

  7. I have never had a Chinese Chicken salad before! This sounds like it would be a perfect lunch for me when the kids go back to school!

  8. I love that it has a crunch element to it! I bet it is delicious! My husband would really enjoy this for dinner.

  9. This sounds like the perfect lunch for me. I have to slice the chicken really thin because I like it pretty dry and practically burnt. I think it would work out fine because of the oils though.

    1. Yup the dressing is a really flavorful one and the sesame oil adds a ton of mouth feel in the case of chicken being a bit drier than usual.

  10. This looks so good I want to get it in my belly now!! It is also not very complex, so I would totally manage it!

  11. This Salad looks so delicious and easy to make. I love trying new recipes. I am going to try this on the weekend.

  12. This salad is so beautiful! Your pictures are fantastic, Sabrina! I can really see the change. Also, my husband would actually eat this as it is not your typical salad (no lettuce leaves for him, haha!)

    1. Thanks so much Kacey!! I try so hard with the photos! In about 9 hours I will be walking in to a 16 session intense photography class (4 hours for each session!) and I am hoping to learn a TON of info!

  13. oh my goodness, this sounds so delicious. I love it. It is like a fun twist on the boring salad. I just may need to make this one day next week

  14. This looks delicious! I have been looking for new ways to make chicken, we are sick of all the stuff we have been doing lately. I will be pinning this for later!

  15. This looks delicious! So light and fresh a great summer dinner idea, I would love to make this for my family.

  16. This looks so good. I can’t believe that it comes together so quickly! Fifteen minutes?! I think I can handle that. Pinning this for later!