Easy Chinese Chicken Salad with Chow Mein Noodles

SaladQuick and EasyChineseChicken

This easy Chinese chicken salad gets tossed with a bright, gingery dressing and topped with crunchy noodles. Makes a great make-ahead salad for a backyard party or a weekday lunch.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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

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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 (or rice wine vinegar; they’re the same), ginger, garlic, and sesame oil.

Whisk everything together, taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking, then toss with the salad. The dressing stored on its own will also keep for at least a week or longer.


If you’d like to make this salad ahead for a party or to take for lunch, cook the chicken and assemble all the salad ingredients in a storage container, except for the chow mein noodles. Combine the ingredients for the salad dressing in a separate jam jar. Store everything in the fridge until ready to serve.

Just before serving, shake the jam jar to combine the dressing, then toss with the salad. Top with chow mein noodles and serve.

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


Easy Chinese Chicken Salad with Chow Mein Noodles Recipe

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


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into short strips
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 head 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

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free option)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned 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 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup peanut or canola oil


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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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22 Comments / Reviews

No ImageEasy Chinese Chicken Salad with Chow Mein Noodles

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Bexis B.

    Girard’s Chinese Chicken Salad dressing! Also makes an excellent marinade. Instead of chow mein noodles (a little predictable), use Fresh Gourmet Authentic Wonton Strips. If more crunch is preferred, a few cashews can be tossed onto the Salad before serving.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.


  5. 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
    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.

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Chinese Chicken SaladEasy Chinese Chicken Salad with Chow Mein Noodles