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Chinese Chicken Salad

This flavorful, aromatic salad is often termed Chinese Chicken Salad or Asian Chicken Salad. The flavor of this sesame ginger dressing is consistently phenomenal.  

Chinese Chicken Salad on a black plate
This Chinese chicken salad is crispy, crunchy, saucy, and super delicious.

Chinese Chicken Salad

ALL my fabulous readers — you are in for a TREAT with this salad.  Sweet, savory, tangy sesame dressing is drizzled over crisp greens, tender chicken, and crispy noodles.  I’m quite sure you’ll love it, all year round.

What You’ll Love About This
Chinese Chicken Salad

  • The flavors – this is literally the most delicious Asian salad dressing with savory, sweet, and tangy flavors.
  • The textures – you’ll get crispy, crunchy, and saucy goodness in every bite.
  • Make ahead – the dressing can be made well ahead of time, as it keeps well in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
  • It’s easy – we use shredded rotisserie chicken for ease of preparation.
  • It’s healthy – the dressing can be made with olive oil, and the salad is loaded with napa cabbage, cucumber, carrots, and almonds.
Chinese Chicken Salad with Dressing
This Asian dressing deserves a spot in your fridge at all times!

Key Ingredients for the Best Chinese Chicken Salad

The Dressing

  • Seasoned rice vinegar – found in the ethnic section at major grocery stores, this provides sweet and tangy flavors.
  • Ground ginger – you can use freshly grated ginger, but we use ground ginger for ease of preparation.
  • Sriracha – this is always our choice for adding a tangy and spicy kick.
  • Soy sauce – feel free to use regular soy sauce or Tamari sauce, if you want it gluten-free.
  • Honey – honey lends a syrupy thickness to the dressing, with perfect sweetness.
  • Toasted sesame oil – found in ethnic aisles of major grocery stores, toasted sesame oil is darker than regular sesame oil and has deeply aromatic flavors.
  • Toasted sesame seeds – if your sesame seeds are not already roasted, you’ll want to toast them quickly in a pan prior to using.

The Salad

  • Napa cabbage – napa cabbage is commonly used for Chinese chicken salad, as it has the perfect crunch to it.
  • Rotisserie chicken – you can also use baked or boiled chicken breasts, but rotisserie chicken is super easy and already seasoned.
  • Mandarin oranges – we love canned mandarin oranges for a pop of juicy sweetness.
  • Almonds – roasted slivered almonds are awesome, but feel free to use chopped roasted peanuts or cashews.
  • Crispy chow mein noodles – top your salad with these for the ultimate crunch.
Chinese chicken salad on a white plate
This Asian dressing is absolutely incredible and can be made in advance.

Chinese Chicken Salad
Commonly Asked questions

What is Chinese Chicken Salad dressing made out of?

Ingredients such as seasoned rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, ginger, and soy sauce are common in Asian style dressings.

Why is it called Chinese Chicken Salad?

The dressing contains Chinese style ingredients, such as soy sauce, ginger, toasted sesame oil, and seasoned rice vinegar. Napa cabbage, commonly used in Chinese cuisine, is also main ingredient.

Can I make the dressing ahead of time? How long does the dressing last?

You can absolutely make this dressing well in advance, as it keeps well for several weeks in the fridge. Just be sure to keep it in an airtight container, and shake it up prior to using.

Is Chinese chicken salad healthy?

This is one of the healthiest salads, as the dressing uses olive oil (or canola oil), versus other popular salads with creamy dressings. Additionally, this salad is dairy-free and can be made gluten-free with the right kind of soy sauce.

More to Eat

Aslo Try This Poke Bowl with Sriracha Mayo

Did you make this?

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Chinese Chicken Salad on a black plate

Chinese Chicken Salad

5 from 83 ratings
This Asian Chicken Salad is made with a zesty dressing that’s full of sesame and ginger, with the perfect balance of sweet honey. The crisp Napa cabbage and tender chicken make this salad the ideal spring/summer lunch. Crowd-pleasing potluck choice too!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Amy Dong


For the Dressing:

For the Salad:

  • 4 cups Napa cabbage, about 1/2 head, finely shredded
  • 3 cups Romaine lettuce, finely shredded
  • 1 cup red cabbage, finely shredded
  • Half of a large cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, or freshly cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 15 oz mandarin oranges, drained
  • ½ cup toasted sliced almonds
  • ½ cup crispy chow mein noodles, dried ramen noodles may be substituted


  • In a bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until well blended. Transfer to desired container and keep chilled.
  • When ready to serve: In salad bowl, toss together Napa cabbage, Romaine lettuce, cucumber, carrots, and enough dressing to coat the veggies well.
  • Gently toss in shredded chicken and mandarin oranges, sprinkling in more dressing as desired. Garnish top of salad with almonds and crispy noodles. Serve immediately.


  • Unused dressing may be kept in an airtight container in fridge for 2-3 weeks.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ❤️

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 394mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 5163IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Low Lactose
Method: Assemble, by hand, mix

How This Salad Came About

Years ago, Hubby and I took the dare (leap of faith, actually) and left our balmy abode in sunny Southern California.  The place where we grew up, lived, and loved.  We uprooted ourselves from our little cape cod home, where our first two boys were born just minutes away from the ocean… and planted ourselves square in this wild-weathered ground of Minnesota we now call home.

It took me a long time to get plugged in, as the Midwest is different on so many levels from the West Coast. After the initial culture shock wore off, we (rather, I) struggled through the frigid winters.  The trading of year-round flip flops for nearly year-round boots required a major wardrobe – and attitude – change.  But it was neither the culture nor the weather that was hardest for me.  The toughest part of transplant life?  Being so far from family.  Not having any friends.

It took me a long time to finally dig my heals in, embrace the change, and form friendships that are authentic and real. Once I found an amazing group of mamas to potluck with, this salad emerged as a favorite. The first time I shared this salad, everyone wanted the recipe. To this day, this Chinese chicken salad is still a crowd favorite.

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