Presenting to you summer in a bowl – when the heat strikes, this Chinese chicken salad is what I reach for. Its vibrant, fresh and full of texture and flavor. The Asian dressing is super addictive and the crispy fried noodles really take this up a notch!
I’m making this salad on repeat these days because texture.texture.texture. I love how crunchy this Chinese chicken salad is and can’t get over that insanely delicious Asian ginger dressing.
Here’s why we are both going to fall in love with this salad:
- This salad packs in a whole seven cups of veggies – all crunchy!
- The asian ginger dressing is really the best and has what you call ‘umami’
- The chicken breasts we use are poached so they are healthier and definitely juicy. But you can use pre cooked shredded chicken or leftover grilled chicken in a jiffy!
- We are adding crunchy fried noodles right in the end which is going to be our secret indulgence and take the crunch levels to the extreme
- It tastes amazing when its cold so you can fix it in advance, top it with crispy fried noodles and serve
This is not a regular lettuce salad. In fact there is no lettuce. I highly recommend getting your hands on chinese cabbage if you can because it’s so crunchy but if you can’t, lettuce will work in the end.
Fair warning: there is some amount of chopping involved, but if you are not comfortable with that – use the shredder attachment in your food processor or buy pre-cut veggies from the supermarket. This salad is forgiving and definitely won’t mind adjusting.
Let’s talk about the crunchy fried noodles for a second. DO NOT leave them out. Trust me that you’ll be eating those by the fistful and they taste even better when tossed into this salad. You can make them at home with this recipe for fried noodles and store them in an airtight container for weeks. Or you can buy from the supermarket. But it’s definitely more fun making them at home and I make a big batch which we then use to top on soups on salads.
Asian Ginger Dressing
One of the best parts of this chinese chicken salad is the dressing. It’s a simple mix of light soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, canola oil, honey and ginger. Its simple enough and you might have most of these ingredients in your pantry. Just toss everything together in a jar or whisk them in a bowl. The dressing is good in the fridge for a few days.
So you can literally make everything ahead and store it in the fridge for whenever you are ready to toss it.
How to make Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe Video
Crunchy Chinese Chicken Salad
- 1 Bayleaf
- 1/2 inch Ginger
- 1-2 Star Anise
- 1/2 teaspoon Peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 Chicken Breasts
Asian Ginger Salad Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
- 3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
- 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
- 1 teaspoon Ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Pinch Salt
- 3 cups Chinese Cabbage finely shredded
- 2 cups Carrots finely julienned
- 1/2 cup Cucumber remove the seeds and diced
- 2 cups Red Cabbage finely shredded
- 1/2 cup Celery finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Spring Onions finely chopped
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups Crunchy Fried Noodles
- Add all the aromatics and chicken breasts to a pot of boiling water to poach the chicken. Once the water is simmering, turn off the flame and cover and let the chicken sit for 20-25 minutes till its cooked. Remove it from the poaching liquid and let it rest for 10 minutes before dicing or shredding it.
- Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and set aside for 15 minutes. Whisk again, just before adding it to the salad.
- In a large bowl, add all the veggies, chicken and the crunchy fried noodles. Pour the dressing and toss well. Serve immediately.
- Poached Chicken: Chicken poached by this method is tender and juicy. But you can skip this step and use pre-cooked shredded chicken
- Asian Salad Dressing: The dressing can be made in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week
- Make Ahead: I actually enjoy tossing this salad with the dressing and letting it sit in the fridge for half an hour if I have the time. But if you choose to do that, add the fried noodles just before serving or they'll get soggy