Easy Chinese Chicken Salad

Easy Chinese chicken salad! with thinly sliced lettuce, bell peppers, scallions, julienned carrot, cilantro, peanuts, and skinless boneless chicken breast.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

This Chinese chicken salad is a colorful and tasty way to use up some leftover chicken and makes for a light lunch.

I experimented with few different dressings and ultimately settled on this one which I think is just the right balance of soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil.

Do you have a favorite Chinese chicken salad dressing? Please let us know about it in the comments.

Easy Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp canola or peanut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce or Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 scallions, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • Chow mein noodles, to taste (skip for gluten-free option)

Dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free option)
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup peanut or canola oil

Method

1 Sauté the chicken: Heat both oils over high heat in a large sauté pan for 1 minute, then add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.

Pat dry the chicken strips, sprinkle them with a little salt, and add them to the pan. Stir-fry the chicken over high heat until cooked through, 3-6 minutes depending on how hot your burner gets. Remove and set aside to cool.

2 Make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Adjust seasonings to taste.

3 Toss salad to serve: In a large bowl, toss the chicken and salad ingredients together. Just before serving, toss with dressing and top with the chow mein noodles.

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Showing 4 of 21 Comments

  • Linda Grimes

    I always use Chinese 5 spice in my dressing and it takes it to another level. Just do it to your own taste. Also, rather than chow mein noodles I use rice sticks (cooked). They’re really fun and add crunch to the salad. And definitely Chinese pea pods.

  • Ms. Q

    You will not go wrong with Girards Chinese Chicken Salad dressing. Hands down. Girards Chinese Chicken Salad dressing will light up your salad with bursting flavors from all your ingredients. If you want more of a creamy/coleslaw Chinese chicken salad dressing go to Applebees or Costco has a great Chinese Chicken Salad Kit, you just have to buy the Cabbage/veggies separate.

  • verena

    I was looking for something not too heavy, with chicken, to make tonight. This was amazing! The dressing was perfect. I substituted fried wonton chips for the chow mein noodles.

  • Nicole

    I have been using this dressing recipe for 15 years and I love it :)

    Salad Dressing:
    3 Tbsp. peanut oil
    1/4 cup vinegar
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    Directions:
    In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine all salad dressing ingredients.
    Microwave on high 2 to 3 minutes or until boiling; stirring halfway through cooking.
    Chill well.

  • Rose

    Mmmm… I made a variation of this for dinner tonight. I used thinly sliced romaine and added snow peas, cilantro, toasted almonds instead of peanuts, and orange slices. I also used the chicken method from “Martha’s Chinese Chicken Salad” (also on this site) and poached, then shredded and marinated, then stirfried the chicken. At the end of the stir-frying I added some sesame seeds to the pan.

    I don’t have a meal “rotation,” but if I did this would be in it!

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