Asian-inspired chicken salad

A dish with big crunch and bright flavours!

This dish might be exactly what your family is craving today (I know I sure am). I’ve read that meals like this are all the range at fancy takeout salad places; apparently it is often described as a ‘Chinese chicken salad’. Although it’s made with relatively humble ingredients, my version punches well about its weight in terms of flavour and satisfying crunchiness. If you don’t want to buy whole cabbages, a bag of shredded coleslaw mix would be a perfect (and super easy) substitute.



  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped, cooked chicken (about 2 chicken breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) black pepper

Sesame Vinaigrette

  • 5 tablespoons (75 mL) rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) minced fresh gingerroot **
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) Sambal Oelek (chili garlic sauce), or more, to taste (Sriracha or your favourite hot sauce would also be good)

* * Substitute with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) chopped pickle ginger or 1 teaspoon (5 mL) powdered ginger


  • 4 cups (1 L) chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4 cups (1 L) shredded green or Napa cabbage
  • 2 cups (500 mL) shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup (250 mL) grated carrots
  • 1 cup (250 mL) mandarin orange segments *
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) crispy Chow Mein noodles, for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) sliced almonds toasted, for garnish (or peanuts or cashews)

* if using tinned or jarred mandarins, pat segments dry on a paper towel before adding to salad


  • Prepare the chicken by combining the soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper. Drizzle over the chopped, cooked chicken and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to assemble salad.
  • Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients (or shake together in a jar with a tight lid) and set aside.
  • Prepare vegetables by washing and chopping lettuce; shred cabbages and carrots (or open bags of coleslaw mix!). Peel and separate orange segments or pat canned/jarred orange segments dry.
  • To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with red cabbage, carrots, orange segments and chopped, cooked chicken. Pour sesame vinaigrette on top of the salad and very gently toss to combine.
  • Serve immediately, topped with sliced green onions, Chow Mein noodles (if using) and toasted almonds.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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