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 crunchy 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
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.


  1. 4


    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:).

  2. 5


    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!

  3. 11


    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!

  4. 12

    Patricia says

    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!!!

  5. 13


    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.

  6. 14

    Miriam says

    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!

  7. 16


    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!

  8. 18

    Cynthia Haeg says

    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 :)

  9. 19

    Amanda says

    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.

  10. 20

    Amanda says

    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

  11. 21

    Alejandra Thorpe says

    I made this today and it was a big hit for the entire family and my father -in- law. I just added mandarin oranges and julienned carrots. Even the kids loved it.

  12. 22

    Jamie says

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe! My husband even cleaned his plate! My only suggestion is for those who like it spicy: I removed the veggie oil all together, added a dash of soy sauce, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and garlic powder, and cut out the sugar. It made for a much more tangy salad dressing with a kick. Overall, it was a great recipe and going into the monthly rotation!

  13. 23

    Monica Williams says

    Made this and it was absolutely amazing. I used Ken’s Steakhouse Lite Asian Sesame w/ Ginger & Soy dressing and it was perfect with this salad. Instead of chow mein noodles I bought fried wonton strips in the salad section. I also used the breasts from a rotisserie chicken for this recipe which made it so quick and easy.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — August 12th, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Monica!

  14. 24

    Debra says

    Very very good!! Entire family enjoyed this flavorful salad! Thank you!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 22nd, 2015 @ 6:26 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Debra!


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