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Jun 16, 2024

Chinese Chicken Salad

This Chinese Chicken Salad is a fresh and flavorful mix of chicken, crunchy vegetables, and a dressing of an emulsion of soy and two chile sauces, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and rice vinegar. 

Chinese Chicken Salad in a smaller bowl in front of the larger bowl.

This Chinese chicken salad is layered with shredded chicken breast, chopped napa cabbage, hearts of romaine, snow peas, and scallions and then everything is tossed together with sliced almonds, toasted sesame seeds, and a bold and flavorful dressing. 

Once you've tossed the salad, top it with crunchy fried wonton strips right before serving. 

Chinese Chicken Salad tossed in a large bowl.

This main course salad is a great way to add lots of greens and fresh veggies to your summer lunch or dinner. It's also a great make-ahead salad, and keeps well even when dressed. 

Simply reserve the crispy wontons until you are ready to serve the salad. 

While not actually of Chinese origin, this salad, especially the dressing, includes the flavors and ingredients we often associate with Chinese American dishes. The salad is ubiquitous in some of our favorite fast-casual American restaurants. 

It's a refreshing and summery main dish salad. 

Chinese Chicken Salad in a bowl before adding the wontons.

How to Make this Chinese Chicken Salad:

First, make the dressing. Combine rice vinegar, soy sauce, sweet Asian chile sauce, minced garlic and ginger, salt, dried mustard, sugar, sriracha or other hot chile sauce, white pepper, peanut oil, and sesame oil. You can also add a small amount of Accent (optional) to bring out the flavors. Refrigerate for at least four hours. 

Next, bake the chicken breasts. Be sure to use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. They are more moist and flavorful. Remove the skin and the bones after roasting and shred the chicken. 

Toss the shredded chicken and scallions with some of the dressing and set aside. 

Finally, in a large bowl, mix the greens, some blanched snow peas, and toasted sesame seeds. Add the chicken and the rest of the dressing and toss. 

Top with the fried wonton strips. 

Chinese Chicken Salad in a smaller bowl in front of the serving bowl.

Chinese Chicken Salad Ingredient Notes and Variations: 

For the fried wontons, I used store bought Fresh Gourmet brand. If you can't find packaged fried wontons, you can oven fry your own. Just cut about 8 wonton wrappers into 1/2 inch strips, spray them with spray oil, sprinkle them lightly with salt, scrunch them a bit with your fingers, and bake them on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 375 degree F oven for 7 to 9 minutes. 

You can also substitute fried maifun noodles for the fried wontons. They're really fun to watch puff up when they hit the hot oil. 

Be sure to toast your almond slices in a 375 degree oven for about 6 to 8 minutes. 

If you can't find toasted sesame seeds (they're usually in the Asian section of my grocery store), toast white sesame seeds in a hot skillet for 3 to 4 minutes. 

Two bowls of Chinese Chicken Salad.

If you have leftover salad, it will actually stay fresh for up to three days, even when dressed. Just reserve the wontons for serving. 

More Main Dish Salads You May Also Enjoy:

Italian Chopped Salad

The Ultimate Layered Salad

Surimi Salad

Salade Niçoise

Italian Seafood Salad

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Two bowls of Chinese Chicken Salad.

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Chinese Chicken Salad in a bowl topped with wontons.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad
Yield: 6 Servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 1 HourCook time: 45 MinInactive time: 4 HourTotal time: 5 H & 45 M
This Chinese Chicken Salad is a fresh and flavorful mix of chicken, crunchy vegetables, and a dressing of an emulsion of soy and two chile sauces, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and rice vinegar.


For the Dressing
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Asian chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1/2 teasoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Accent (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot Asian chili sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup peanut or neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
For the Salad
  • 2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 large scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 ounces of snow peas, cut on the diagonal into thirds (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced crosswise (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced hearts of romaine lettuce
  • About 1 to 2 cups fried wonton strips


To Make the Dressing
  1. Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, mustard, sugar, garlic, ginger, salt, Accent, hot chile sauce, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the peanut and sesame oil.
  2. Let the dressing chill for about 4 hours, if possible.
To Make the Salad
  1. Heat your oven to 425 degrees F. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast the breasts for about 45 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Remove from the oven, tent with foil, and let cool.
  2. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat with two forks. Toss the chicken in a bowl with 1/4 cup of the dressing and the scallions and set aside.
  3. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water set aside. Boil the snow peas for about 20 seconds, drain, and add them to the ice water to stop the cooking.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, romaine, and snow peas. Add the chicken, scallion, and dressing mixture, along with the toasted almonds and sesame seeds.
  5. Add the rest of the dressing and toss until combined.
  6. Serve the salad tossed with the wonton strips.


See post regarding making your own fried wonton strips and toasting the sliced almonds.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

20 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

3 g

Carbs (grams)

33 g

Fiber (grams)

4 g

Net carbs

29 g

Sugar (grams)

5 g

Protein (grams)

25 g

Cholesterol (grams)

52 mg
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Would you like to comment?

  1. I used to make something similar years ago but I haven't in so long! That dressing sounds amazing, definitely have to make this soon!

  2. I love a main dish salad--and this will be perfect for summer!

  3. Such a delicious sald to have anytime of the year!

  4. This reminds me of a Chinese chicken salad we would make when I was a kid. It had mandarin oranges and Newman's dressing. I can't wait to try this version!


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