Chinese Chicken Salad with Soy Ginger Dressing

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Healthy Chinese chicken salad recipe is a refreshing crowd-pleasing dish. Tossed in tangy soy ginger dressing and packed with fresh vegetables in each bite.

Chinese Chicken Salad with Soy Ginger Dressing

I prepared a healthy and delicious Chinese chicken salad recipe. It’s packed with crunchy cabbage, lettuce, carrots, noodles and ginger poached chicken tossed in a tangy soy vinaigrette.

Refreshing and satisfying, this is a great dish for any occasion. A quick weekday dinner, lunch for work or larger gatherings. Let’s get the festivities started!

Bottle of homemade salad dressing

What makes this salad especially attractive and addicting is the tangy-sweet soy dressing. If you haven’t made your own vinaigrette before, it’s so easy. If you’ve got a whisk handy and a little bit of mini-muscle, a dressing can come together in seconds!

You could even add the dressing to a large mason jar and shake it up to burn a few extra calories, kids love to help too. I could just imagine baby James going nuts, dancing around and giggling with a shaker bottle of dressing splashing around inside.

Bowl of salad with crunchy noodles on top

Have you tried poaching chicken before? It’s a delicate way to infuse flavor into the chicken through the cooking liquid. I used fresh ginger, garlic and a little bit of salt to flavor the water. This technique is easy but also a healthy method of cooking that doesn’t require adding extra fat for cooking.

Just helping you look after your waistlines (fist bump). If you have leftover grilled or roasted chicken, shred up the meat and add to the salad instead, easy peasy.

Salad dressing being poured on top of a salad

This dressing was inspired by RecipeTin Eats. She does such an excellent job making gourmet meals simple for home cooks. The base of the dressing is equal parts or soy sauce, rice vinegar, freshly minced ginger, and garlic, sesame oil and some neutral grapeseed oil adds a little bit of richness. The spicy ginger and garlic add a “zing” to the dressing. I want to pour this over everything!

Chopsticks grabbing from a bowl of Chinese chicken salad

Ready to dig in? I know, it’s hard to resist so much crunchy eye candy. If you can’t find the noodle topping, you can cut up slices of wonton wrappers and fry until golden brown and crispy. If you are not serving this salad right away, toss together the salad ingredients but wait to add the dressing.

The dressing is a temporary emulsion, and it will separate over time. Not to worry, just whisk together or shake in a jar right before dressing the salad.

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What is the benefit of poaching foods?

Delicate foods like eggs, chicken breast, fruit, and fish benefit from using a gentle cooking method called poaching. The food cooks in a pot of liquid that is well below the boiling point (212°F). For this recipe, the chicken is covered with water to 1-inch above the meat. This provides an efficient cooking liquid that cooks the chicken on both sides and prevents the surface from drying out. You can cover the pot with a lid to have a constant gentle cooking environment, but make sure that the temperature is kept low enough, so it does not start boiling (170 to 180°F). You want don’t want to see bubbles break the surface. That would be simmering. It’s helpful to use a digital thermometer handy to check the temperature of the water before adding the chicken, during cooking, and to verify that the chicken has reached 165°F. The food becomes very tender, moist infused with flavors if you choose.

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Chinese Chicken Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing

Healthy Chinese chicken salad recipe is a refreshing crowd-pleasing dish. Tossed in tangy soy ginger dressing and packed with fresh vegetables in each bite.
Pin Print Review
4.67 from 9 votes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Salad
Cuisine Chinese

Ingredients

Poached Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 slices ginger, fresh
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ginger, fresh, very finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, canola or any other neutral flavored oil

Salad

  • 1 cup red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 cups napa cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, finely shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, finely shredded
  • 1 cup cucumbers, thinly sliced, matchstick-cut
  • 3 cups poached chicken, shredded (you can substitute roasted chicken)
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1 cup crunchy noodles
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Instructions 

Poached Chicken

  • Place chicken in a large pot and add enough water to cover by 1-inch. Add salt, ginger slices and garlic.
  • Bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat when bubbles start forming around the edge of the pot.
  • Reduce to medium-low to keep the temperature constant, about 170 to 180°F.
  • Cook chicken until the center of the meat reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 23 minutes.
  • Transfer to a plate, and let the chicken breasts cool in the refrigerator. Once cool, shred and reserve.

Vinaigrette

  • In a medium-sized bowl combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, and pepper.
  • Slowly whisk in sesame and grapeseed oil. If you have a blender, you can combine all vinaigrette ingredients together for a few seconds until mixed well. Set aside for 10 minutes or so for the flavors to meld.

Salad

  • Place the salad ingredients together in a large bowl, except crunchy noodles and sesame seeds.
  • Whisk dressing if layers have separated. Drizzle over dressing then toss.
  • Top with noodles and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Facts
Chinese Chicken Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 256 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 59mg20%
Sodium 1411mg59%
Potassium 250mg7%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 6200IU124%
Vitamin C 33mg40%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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3 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Shahrier says

    Tastes amazing.

    I poach the chicken in chicken stock to give it a bid of flavour.

    Since I’m going easy in the carbs and fat – I’ve omitted the crunchy noodles and sesame seeds as well as omitting the 2 tablespoons of grape seed/neutral flavoured oil.

    Still tastes great and fresh. My wife and I could eat this every day!

  2. Christine says

    Thanks so much…this salad was so easy, refreshing and tasty! Can you recommend an easy way to mince ginger besides mincing it continuously with a chef’s knife?

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