We just love a good entree salad and this one is about as good as they come.
The combination of crunchy vegetables, almonds, and wontons works perfectly with the creamy peanut dressing and slightly sweet mandarin oranges. The chicken can be warm or chilled. And, everything can be prepared in advance, and then assembled just before serving.
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How To Make Chinese Chicken Salad
Versions of this salad can be found in many popular restaurant chains across the United States.
Will you find this salad in China? No.
But it definitely does have an Asian flair to it. And that works for us!
How to Prepare the Chicken
Deepening the flavor of the chicken can be done easily with a simple marinade. All you’ll need are the following basic ingredients:
- Soy sauce
- Orange juice
- Sesame oil
- Black pepper
- Sriracha sauce (optional)
- Fresh ginger, grated
Simply mix together the marinade ingredients and then pour over the cut-up chicken in a large freezer baggie. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight. Toss the baggie around every now and then.
Drain the marinade from the chicken and then cook in a large skillet until cooked through and slightly caramelized.
We add another dash of sriracha and honey as the chicken cooks. This helps to form a wonderful glaze around the chicken pieces.
EXPERT TIP: If you prefer, rather than cooking the chicken in a skillet, you could poach the boneless chicken breasts in simmering water until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. A rotisserie chicken is a great option, too.
Choosing the Best Veggies
For the salad component, we recommend going with a combination of iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and Napa cabbage.
You can go with chopped green cabbage, but you might consider sprinkling salt over it while sitting in a colander in the sink for about 20 minutes. This will soften it. Napa cabbage has a softer texture the green cabbage.
EXPERT TIP: For the carrots, we use the shredding attachment on our food processor. Two large carrots will give you plenty. A box grater works just fine, too. Or, purchase pre-shredded carrots from the market.
How To Make Fried Wonton Strips
Fried wonton strips add that classic crunch that we all love so much with this salad.
Wonton wrappers can be found in the produce section of most well-stocked supermarkets. Egg roll wrappers can be substituted, too.
Simply cut a small stack of wrappers into 3 strips (per wrapper) and then quickly fry in a skillet filled with hot vegetable oil.
Of course, you can skip this step and find wonton strips in the Asian section of your local supermarket.
When to Serve Chinese Chicken Salad<h/h3>
This salad is an easy and wonderful meal to serve the family for a busy weeknight.
But, because all of the elements can be prepped in advance, and then simply assembled just before serving, it is perfect for potluck dinner, baby/wedding showers, and more.
The dressing is truly an explosion of flavor and brings all the components together. Other awesome salads include:
In the meantime, you really need to try this incredible Chinese Chicken Salad. The dressing puts it over the top.
This has become of our most favorite salads to prepare.
It is truly a meal all in and of itself and is always a hit when we serve it to guests.
Once assembled, it will stay perfect for serving for a couple of hours. So good!
Ready to make one of the best salads in the world? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!
Chinese Chicken Salad
For the Chicken
- 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp ginger fresh, minced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Sriracha sauce optional
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ Kosher salt
For the Salad
- 3 cups Napa cabbage chopped
- 1½ cup red cabbage chopped
- 3 cups iceberg lettuce chopped
- 2 large carrots shredded, about 1½ cups
- ½ cup scallions chopped
- 2 mandarin oranges peeled and slices pulled apart
- ⅓ cup almonds sliced
- 1 cup fried wontons see NOTES
For the Peanut Dressing
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup peanut butter creamy
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- Mix the marinade ingredients (except the salt) together in a jar. Place the chicken pieces in a freezer baggie (or bowl) and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to overnight. Move the chicken around in the baggie (or bowl) occasionally.
- Heat a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over high heat. Drain the marinade from the chicken and add the chicken to the skillet. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and stir until cooked through and dark in color. Add a squirt or two more of the sriracha during the cooking process to add a little more coating to the chicken. Once cooked, removed from skillet and set aside.
- Place all of the salad vegetables in a large bowl. Leave the almonds, mandarins, and wontons for topping the salad.
- Mix together the peanut dressing ingredients in a jar. Stir, or shake, until fully mixed. You may need a spoon to help mix it all together.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and then use two large wooden spoons (or your hands) to mix it all together, completely coating the salad with the dressing. Transfer to a platter, or individual serving plates, and top with almonds, mandarins, and wonton strips.