Martha’s Chinese Chicken Salad

No, not that Martha. This Martha is a friend of my friend Suzanne, who prepared her favorite chicken salad for a gathering of girlfriends a while back. A great recipe for summer picnics (you might want to double the recipe).

Martha’s Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.


  • 1/2 lb. white chicken meat, cooked and shredded
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free version)
  • 1 teaspoon sherry
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • High smoke point cooking oil, such as grapeseed oil, corn oil, or peanut oil
  • 2 oz. bean threads (one bunch)
  • 4 green onions, shredded lengthwise
  • 1 small head of lettuce (romaine works), shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped toasted almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp vinegar


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1 Using two forks, shred the cooked chicken (if you don't have any already cooked, poach chicken pieces in simmering water until no longer pink inside). Mix soy sauce, sherry and sugar in a bowl and add the chicken. Let soak for 10 minutes. Remove chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Fry the shredded chicken in a little cooking oil on medium high heat to make it a little crispy and to bake in the seasoning. Set aside.

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2 Put 3/4 inch of high smoke point cooking oil (such as grapeseed oil, or peanut oil) into a small saucepan. Heat on high heat until when you flick a drop or two of water into the oil it sizzles. Take one bunch of the dried bean threads and gently break them up a bit. Test the oil by putting one bean thread into the oil. If the oil is hot enough, the bean thread will almost immediately sizzle and puff up. That's when you know the oil is hot enough. Working with a few bean threads at a time, put them in the hot oil. As soon as they puff up, remove them carefully with tongs and place them on a paper towel to cool. The paper towel helps remove any excess oil. Set aside.

3 Cut your green onions, shredding them lengthwise as shown. Toast your chopped almonds, or chop your toasted almonds; toast your sesame seeds. (Heat a thin skillet to medium high heat, add the seeds - or nuts, don't do them both together - stir frequently until they begin to brown, remove from heat, they will continue to cook. Let cool to room temp.)

4 Mix all of the sauce ingredients together, in the order listed. Just before serving the salad, mix all of the salad ingredients together - lettuce, chicken, bean threads, almonds, sesame seeds, and sauce.

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Showing 4 of 24 Comments

  • Ethan

    I’d add cilantro to that, maybe some lemon zest or juice to the sauce too

  • Elise

    Cilantro would be good. I was also thinking of some thinly sliced kumquats.

  • Erich

    My mom makes a salad similar to this, except she uses cabbage instead of lettuce which makes it kinda like an asian slaw. Our family loves it, mostly because we hate mayo or anything of the like. She also uses Hot Chili Sesame Oil for an extra kick.

  • Ken Broadhurst

    I made Martha’s chicken salad for lunch today, and it was great. One of our guests doesn’t like onion, so I left out the green onions. I put some cilantro leaves on the salad and they were good. I also used rice stack noodles instead of bean threads (because that’s what I could get) and they were good too. Thanks for the recipe.

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