The Best Chopped Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

4.56 from 59 votes
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The Best Chopped Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe – a delicious, hearty salad bursting with Asian chicken flavor that the whole family will love. 

chicken Asian salad in a white bowl with a striped towel in the background
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asian chicken salad with chicken

Cheesecake Factory Chopped Chicken Salad

Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad is one of my all time favorite dishes – it is crisp, crunchy, cooling – and packed with tons of flavor.

I love salty, slightly sweet, and crunchy Asian-inspired salads – and this Chopped Chinese Chicken Salad is one of my all time favorite meals ever.

One note: While this salad is definitely inspired by Chinese Chicken flavors, it is in no way an authentic Chinese dish – but since I see it most often on menus as a Chinese Chicken salad, I’m just sticking with the name ;).

delicious chicken Asian salad in a white bowl with a striped towel in the background

How to Make Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad

This Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad is wonderful because it packs a TON of flavor in one big bowl – without any ingredients that are hard to find.

All of the ingredients below should be easy to locate at your local grocery store – some in the fresh produce section, and some in the Asian food aisle.

Salad Dressing:

  1. Canola Oil: This is a neutral oil that serves as the base of the dressing, helping to combine and distribute the other flavors.
  2. Rice Vinegar: It provides a tangy acidity that contrasts and balances the richness of the other ingredients.
  3. Hoisin Sauce: This contributes a sweet and salty flavor with a hint of spice, adding depth and complexity to the dressing.
  4. Soy Sauce: Soy sauce gives the dressing a salty, umami punch which boosts the overall savoriness of the salad.
  5. Fresh Ginger: Grated ginger brings a bit of heat and freshness to the dressing, and complements the Asian flavor profile.
  6. Toasted Sesame Oil: This has a strong, nutty, and slightly smoky flavor. It adds a layer of aromatic complexity to the dressing and the salad overall.

Salad:

  1. Cooked Chicken: The main protein source of the salad. Chicken is mild in flavor and works as a great canvas for the dressing.
  2. Napa Cabbage & Red Cabbage: These provide a crunchy texture and fresh taste. They also add color and nutritional value to the salad.
  3. Shredded Carrots: They bring a bit of sweetness, a bright color, and a nice crunchy texture to the salad.
  4. Scallions: These add a mild, onion-like flavor and a bit of crispness, enhancing the overall depth of flavors.
  5. Fresh Cilantro: Cilantro contributes a unique, slightly citrusy flavor that adds freshness and brightens up the overall taste of the salad.
  6. Fried Wonton Strips: These provide a crunchy texture that contrasts with the softer ingredients, and they also add a bit of richness due to being fried.
  7. Sesame Seeds: They garnish the salad, adding a subtle nutty flavor and a pleasing crunch.
delicious chicken Asian salad in a white bowl with a striped towel in the background

Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Chinese Chicken Salad

This salad is one of my all time favorites because it is so incredibly versatile. If you don’t love an ingredient as listed, go ahead and swap it for something you like more!

Fresh Ingredients: The taste of the salad will be directly influenced by the freshness of the ingredients used. Fresh vegetables will ensure maximum crunch and flavor. The herbs, like cilantro and scallions, should also be fresh to bring out their full, bright flavors.

Balance of Flavors: Balancing flavors is crucial in this salad. Taste your dressing before mixing it into the salad to ensure it has the right balance of sweet, salty, and sour. If it’s too sweet, add more rice vinegar or soy sauce. If it’s too salty, add more hoisin sauce or a pinch of sugar.

Preparation of Chicken: You can use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or freshly cooked chicken. If you’re cooking your own chicken, consider poaching it for moist and tender results. Also, let the chicken cool before adding it to the salad to prevent wilting the vegetables.

Shredding the Vegetables: For a chopped salad, the ingredients should be roughly the same size. Finely shredded cabbage and carrots will mix well with the chicken and absorb the dressing better.

Dressing the Salad: Don’t overdress the salad, as it can make it soggy. Add just enough dressing to coat the ingredients, but not so much that it pools at the bottom of the bowl.

Adding Crunch: Add the wonton strips and sesame seeds just before serving so they maintain their crunch. You can also consider adding other crunchy elements like toasted almonds or peanuts for extra texture.

Resting Time: Allow the salad to sit for a few minutes after adding the dressing to let the flavors meld together. However, don’t let it sit too long to maintain the crispness of the vegetables.

Adjusting to Taste: Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your personal preference. You can add other elements like mandarin oranges, bell peppers, or even some spice with red pepper flakes.

Add other ingredients! Some of our favorite additions to a Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad are below:

  • Snap peas
  • Red bell pepper, shredded or diced
  • Water chestnuts
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Tamarind
  • Grilled shrimp

FAQs

What type of chicken should I use for a Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad?

Any type of cooked chicken can be used for this salad. Rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, or poached chicken are all great options. The key is to shred or dice it into bite-sized pieces.

Can I make this salad in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the components of the salad in advance. However, it’s best to combine the ingredients and add the dressing just before serving, to maintain the crispness of the vegetables and crunchiness of the wonton strips.

Can I add other ingredients to this salad?

Absolutely! This salad is very versatile. Feel free to add other ingredients like bell peppers, mandarin oranges, cucumbers, peanuts, or even red pepper flakes for some heat.

What can I use instead of hoisin sauce?

If you can’t find hoisin sauce, you can substitute it with a combination of soy sauce, a bit of sugar, and some peanut butter or sesame oil to mimic the sweet, salty, and nutty flavor of hoisin.

Can I make this salad vegetarian or vegan?

Yes, you can replace the chicken with tofu or edamame to make it vegetarian. For a vegan version, you’ll also need to ensure your hoisin and soy sauces are vegan (most are, but some brands may contain animal products).

What can I serve with this salad?

This salad is hearty enough to be served as a main dish, but it also pairs well with other Asian dishes like stir-fries, dumplings, or noodle dishes.

delicious chicken Asian salad in a white bowl with a striped towel in the background

Other Delicious Salads You’ll Love:

If you loved this easy Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad Recipe, be sure to check out some of my other favorite salads!

Delicious hearty salads like The Best Easy Chicken Taco Salad Recipe, and a delicious Grilled Chimichurri Chicken and Vegetables Salad – as well as fun favorites like this Cheesy Chicken Taco Salad Stuffed Avocado Recipe, and another takeout inspired Spicy Thai Beef Salad Recipe.

delicious chicken Asian salad in a white bowl with a striped towel in the background

The Best Chopped Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

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chicken Asian salad in a white bowl with a striped towel in the background

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chopped chicken salad in a white bowl on a table with chicken, wonton strips, soy ginger dressing
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The Best Chopped Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

The Best Chopped Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe – a delicious, hearty salad bursting with Asian chicken flavor that the whole family will love. 
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Keyword asian salad, cabbage, chinese, ginger, salad, sesame oil dressing
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 357kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

For the Salad Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For the Salad:

  • 4 cups cooked chicken shredded or diced
  • 1 pound Napa cabbage cored and finely shredded
  • 2 cups red cabbage cored and finely shredded
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 bunch scallions thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro minced
  • 1 cup fried wonton strips
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds for garnish optional

Instructions

To make the dressing:

  • In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine oil, vinegar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil. Shake vigorously until combined.
  • Allow flavors to blend at room temperature while preparing the rest of the salad. Or, refrigerate for up to 4 days.

To make the salad:

  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cabbage, carrots, scallions, and cilantro. Shake the dressing to recombine and pour over the salad.
  • Toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with chow mein noodles and sesame seeds, if using, and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 520mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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4.56 from 59 votes (54 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. Anna says:

    This salad is delicious! My go-to recently for lunch!

  2. Bree says:

    5 stars
    This salad is so flavorful! I love the dressing!

  3. Kara Cook says:

    5 stars
    This is one of my favorite salads to order when we eat out. I can’t wait to try it at home. Your version looks simply scrumptious!!

  4. Allyson Zea says:

    5 stars
    This looks just like one of my favorite restaurant salads! I HAVE to try your recipe!

  5. Anna says:

    5 stars
    This salad is a must on our weekly menu! So tasty!

  6. Billy says:

    5 stars
    Gosh does this look so good and healthy! I’m for sure going to make this, the dressing looks awesome!