Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing

Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing

That big bowl of flavor and crunch up there is my dinner at least once a week. Fast, fresh and figure-friendly, my mom’s recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad has become my go-to alternative to Manhattan’s bevy of overpriced-but-easily-available takeout options.

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of this salad on Instagram and Facebook and was asked to share the recipe. Ask and ye shall receive my fellow Chinese Chicken Salad enthusiasts. This colorful mix features a plethora of tastes and textures, from shredded purple cabbage and tender chicken to toasted almonds and crisp cucumber batons. All that healthy goodness is tossed in a homemade sesame dressing.

You’ll want to go ahead and splurge on this low-fat favorite now because next week it’s all about the butter. (Two words: apple pie.)

Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing

Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing

Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing

Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing

Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing

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Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 min


For the salad:
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (See Kelly's Notes)
3 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced into batons
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup crispy chow mein noodles

For the dressing:
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper


In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients, tossing until well mixed.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and then pour over the salad, tossing to coat.

Kelly's Notes:

I buy a rotisserie chicken and shred the meat (discarding the skin). It's fast, fresh and just enough meat for 4 to 6 servings.


25 Responses to “Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing”

  1. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — September 5, 2012 at 9:36 am

    looks great girl!!

  2. #
    Jenny @ BAKE — September 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

    this salad looks amazing! its just begging to be eaten!

  3. #
    Diane, A Broad — September 5, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Pretty and simple! But that tip about discarding chicken skin — sacrilege!

  4. #
    fabiola@notjustbaked — September 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    This awesome! I totally saw it on Instagram, and thought wow that looks so good and healthy. Then I saw the preview, and now it is here! I love how simple, and crunchy this is. I am so making this. I usually buy cabbage every week, and am looking for ways to change it up. This is a great way! Plus there’s apple pie next week:).

  5. #
    Rachel @ Bakerita — September 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Yum! I love trying new salads, and this one looks awesome. I feel like I always get into a salad rut…so I’ll definitely be making this soon. I’m obsessed with chinese chicken salad, so I’m sure I’ll love it!

  6. #
    JulieD — September 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Looks absolutely beautiful, kelly!! I want to some now!! Miss you!!

  7. #
    The Healthy Apple — September 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    OMG I love this recipe. This is fabulous.YOU are fabulous and this is SO going to be my dinner tomorrow night.

  8. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — September 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    gorgeous photos, kelly! this sounds like such a flavorful salad, i wouldn’t even miss the fattening calories of some other salad!

  9. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — September 6, 2012 at 8:20 am

    So funny – I made the same salad this week for lunch and was so sad to be out of chow mein noodles!! So good!!

  10. #
    Cassie — September 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    This is my kind of salad! I love the shot of the cabbage!

  11. #
    Monique — September 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    THIS IS AMAZING. Everytime I travel I get the chinese chicken salad from Wolfgang Puck to-go at LAX. It’s never great, and I should totally just make this when I get a craving!

  12. #
    Patricia — October 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Just found your blog and love it. The salad is just exactly what I want for lunch, and maybe dinner too! I’m out of romaine but nappa might work. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  13. #
    Foodiewife — January 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I made this, tonight, and loved it. I also added mandarin oranges and grated carrots. I used unseasoned rice vinegar,and the dressing was perfect. Delicious, clean eating– especially after all the Christmas sugar.
    PS: I bought your book, “Food Blogging for Dummies” and am gearing up to start reading it. It looks great.

  14. #
    Miriam — August 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I made this for lunch today – it is really, really good! I used napa cabbage instead of romaine, but other than that stuck to the recipe as written. A great dieter’s salad, with one caveat; that dressing is over a thousand calories if you use up all of it! 1 tablespoon, though, is just 78. Yay!

  15. #
    shiva catering Fort Lauderdale — September 5, 2013 at 3:50 am

    This salad really looks so fresh and healthy. I am on a diet so this would just be perfect! I do love how the purple cabbage adds so much life to this dish! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  16. #
    Mary — September 12, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Haven’t made this in years! Happy to see your site. Making this tonight and a ton of it! When I use to make it, instead of chow mein noodles, I broke up Top Ramen, added sesame seeds and toasted them in the oven till lightly browned. I think I might add some brocolli slaw to this recipe!

  17. #
    Liz — February 21, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Nice salad. Thanks so much.

  18. #
    Cynthia Haeg — March 7, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I made this for a Superbowl party and it was a HUGH hit. I have made it for my family and it is a big hit at the Haeg house..

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 7th, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

      Thrilled you’re enjoying the recipe, Cynthia :)

  19. #
    Amanda — March 10, 2014 at 2:11 am

    Hi Kelly,this looks absolutely divine and i am going to try it,but how do i get chow mein noodles crispy? please advise.
    thanx Amanda

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 10th, 2014 @ 10:37 am

      Hi Amanda – The Crispy chow mein noodles are sold in most major grocery stores and can usually be found in the Asian products section.

  20. #
    Amanda — March 11, 2014 at 3:07 am

    Hi Kelly,
    thanx for your reply:) I have tried a few of your recipes, and I am NEVER disappointed – Thank you so much!! Now i have to watch the waistline.LOL


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