Chinese Chicken Salad is a vintage salad that’s gaining in popularity again. Likely developed on the West Coast, this salad has been around for decades. It’s a great salad for entertaining, for taking to potlucks, or just noshing on for lunch or dinner. It’s crunchy, tangy, sweet, and loaded with veggies – what’s not to love?

Vertical shot of Asian Chicken Salad.

I love this salad. I’m a big fan of veggies, and this entree-worthy salad is so fresh, colorful and delicious.

I’m also a big fan of taking a few shortcuts, so instead of cutting and deep frying your on wonton strips, grab a bag of wonton strips from the grocery store. They’re usually wherever you find salad dressings.

I poach the chicken for this salad. That means simmering it low and slow in water with onions, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. This ensures the chicken doesn’t dry out. You could also use grilled chicken or just about any kind of chicken, including store-bought chicken strips.

Close-up shot of Asian Chicken Salad.

What You’ll Love About Chinese Chicken Salad

  • You can make the dressing ahead of time. In fact, it tastes better after it’s had some time for the flavors to blend.
  • Mix and match the veggies to use all your favorites. 
  • This is a super healthy salad. Lean protein from chicken and an abundance of fresh vegetables make this salad both nutritious and filling.

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • Vegetable oil – Or canola oil.
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Smooth peanut butter
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Dry mustard powder
  • Lime juice
  • Honey
  • Sesame seeds
  • Fresh ginger – Finely chopped or grated.
  • Garlic – Finely chopped or grated.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad

  • Cooked shredded chicken
  • Napa cabbage – Finely shredded.
  • Romaine lettuce – Finely shredded.
  • Bean sprouts
  • Snow peas
  • Green onions – White and green parts, sliced.
  • Carrot – Julienned or thinly sliced.
  • Cucumber – Thinly sliced.
  • Red bell pepper – Sliced.
  • Black sesame seeds – Optional garnish.
  • Peanuts – Dry roasted, optional garnish.
  • Crispy wonton strips – 3.5-ounce package, optional garnish.
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro, chopped, optional garnish.

How To Make Chinese Chicken Salad

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  2. Place all salad ingredients except for the wonton strips and optional garnishes in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss gently to coat everything evenly.
  4. Garnish with crispy wonton strips, peanuts, chopped cilantro, and black sesame seeds just before serving.

Step-By-Step-Process

Heather’s Tried and True Tips

  • Always toss the salad with the dressing right before serving to keep the vegetables crisp and the wonton strips crunchy.
  • For a more robust flavor, let the dressing sit by preparing it a few hours ahead of time and refrigerating it until you’re ready to use it.
  • Use a mandoline slicer for uniformly thin slices of cucumber and carrot. Or, use a julienne peeler.
  • To turn up the heat, add a dash of chili oil or crushed red pepper flakes to the dressing.

Make It A Meal

Chinese chicken salad is delicious on its own but it can also be part of a larger spread. Serve it alongside other Asian-inspired dishes like Honey Walnut Shrimp or Kung Pao Chicken for a more substantial meal. 

Asian chicken salad horizontal.

Storage

This salad is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. The dressed salad might lose some of its crunch over time, so it’s best to store the dressing separately if possible. Freezing is not recommended as the fresh vegetables and greens will not maintain their pleasant texture once thawed.

Close-up shot of Asian Chicken Salad.

Chinese Chicken Salad – A Vintage Recipe

Heather S.
Loaded with plenty of umami, crunch, and tasty veggies, this vintage salad is easy and delicious. Perfect for potlucks, sharing, or just enjoying for dinner, serve up some flavor today!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 8 servings
Calories 359 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the dressing:

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar use unsweetened vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teapoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ginger finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic finely grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the salad

  • 1 pound cooked chicken shredded or cubed
  • ½ head napa cabbage sliced thinly
  • ½ head romaine lettuce sliced thinly
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 12 snow peas cut in half
  • 4 green onions white and green parts sliced
  • 1 carrot peeled and shredded or julienned
  • 1 English cucumber sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds optional garnish
  • cup peanuts roasted, optional garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro optional garnish
  • 1 package wonton strips optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  • Place all salad ingredients except for the wonton strips and optional garnishes in a large mixing bowl.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss gently to coat everything evenly.
  • Garnish with crispy wonton strips, peanuts, chopped cilantro, and black sesame seeds just before serving.

Notes

Heather’s Tips:

  • Always toss the salad with the dressing right before serving to keep the vegetables crisp and the wonton strips crunchy.
  • For a more robust flavor, let the dressing sit by preparing it a few hours ahead of time and refrigerating it until you’re ready to use it.
  • Use a mandoline slicer for uniformly thin slices of cucumber and carrot. Or, use a julienne peeler.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 359kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 20gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 464mgPotassium: 613mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5468IUVitamin C: 41mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chinese salad, peanut
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Recipe Rating




One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    So worth the try! This is one of my go-to salad recipe now and I absolutely love it! It’s so fast and easy to make and they taste wonderful, super healthy and refreshing. Yum!