This Asian Chicken Salad is one of my favourite salads to enjoy with my family and friends in the summer months. It is a wonderful combination of textures, colours, and flavours. Not only is it incredibly delicious, but it is very quick and easy to make as well. It’s also a great salad to serve to Ladies that Lunch! I can promise you this salad is anything but boring!
When I used to cook at the Manor, salads like this were very popular with the ladies. They loved this pretty to look at salad, filled with lots of healthy things.
This is also a salad you can make up to one day in advance, without dressing and garnishing it. Simply assemble all of the ingredients, cover, and place in the refrigerator to chill until you need it, dressing it and garnishing it with the crunchy toppings just prior to serving.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD
You can pretty much add whatever you want to an Asian Chicken Salad. Look at this recipe as being a bare-bones list of ingredients that you can build upon.
|Frozen edamame beans|
|Canned mandarin oranges|
|Poached chicken breast meat|
|Toasted flaked almonds, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds|
|Crispy wonton noodles (optional)|
|Ginger and Mandarin Salad Dressing (or your favourite Asian dressing)|
|Salt and black pepper to taste|
If you don’t particularly like some of the vegetables listed, feel free to substitute them with vegetables you do like. Just make sure that they are crisp and colourful and that the flavours work well together. Some tasty additions might be fresh bean sprouts, thinly sliced coloured bell peppers, crisp celery (sliced on the diagonal), rice noodles, pea pods, snow peas, napa cabbage, sliced fresh mushrooms, uncooked crispy Top Ramen noodles etc.
HINTS AND TIPS
Following my hints and tips will make for one of the best chicken salads ever!
- Read through the recipe several times before beginning to help familiarise yourself with any ingredients or equipment you may require.
- Assemble all of the ingredients needed prior to beginning. This can help to prevent you from leaving out something integral to the recipe.
- Use the freshest vegetables that you can buy. This is not the time to use up all of the old vegetables that have been languishing at the bottom of the crisper drawer!
- If you want to go really easy, you can use about six cups of your favourite coleslaw vegetable mixture. I prefer to hand shred my own vegetables for this however. Most salad mixtures you buy in the shops have been treated/washed and I am not overly fond of the flavour left behind by this treatment.
- I do not recommend using a food processor to shred your cabbages. The end result will be too fine in texture. You want your cabbages to have a bit more substance. I find that hand shredding with a sharp knife, cutting them as thin as I can, produces the nicest texture.
- To julienne the carrots, peel and then cut into 2 inch lengths. Cut the lengths into ¼ inch thick slices and then stack the slices and cut the slices into ¼ inch pieces.
- I use frozen edamame beans. It’s very easy to thaw them out. Simply put them into a small glass bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave them for about 35 seconds, drain well and pat dry.
- I poach chicken breasts to use in this recipe. Simply place into a saucepan of lightly salted water to cover, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes. Leave to cool in the water. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, remove from the water and refrigerate. You can easily shred the chicken using two forks.
- I use a good bottled Asian Salad Dressing. You can however make your own delicious dressing from scratch. Simply whisk together ¼ cup of canola oil, 2 TBS toasted sesame oil, 2 TBS rice wine vinegar, 2 TBS soy sauce, 1 TBS soft light brown sugar, 1 tsp minced fresh ginger, 1 tsp crushed garlic, 1 tsp garlic chili-garlic sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.
- You can make this salad very easily ahead of time, without dressing it. Simply mix together all of the fresh ingredients, cover tightly with some plastic cling film, and store in the refrigerator until you need it. I wouldn’t recommend keeping it for more than 1 to 2 days maximum, stored. Do not dress or garnish until just before you are ready to serve it.
- I like to garnish it with toasted nuts and seeds. You can also use Crispy Wontons or Chow Mein Noodles. A little bit of crunch dresses it up nicely.
HOW TO MAKE ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD
You will see that this is a very easy salad to make, using very basic skills.
Prepare all your vegetables. Hand shred both cabbages and the lettuce. Peel the carrot and cut into 2-inch lengths, cut into thin slices, and then julienne the slices. Wash your scallions, trim, and then slice thinly on the diagonal.
Place all of your prepared vegetables into a large bowl.
Shred the chicken with two forks.
Add the shredded chicken, drained mandarins, and thawed edamame beans. Season with some salt and pepper and toss well together.
This much can be done ahead of time, covered and chilled in the refrigerator. Do not dress or garnish until just before you serve the salad.
When you are ready to serve the salad, drizzle with the salad dressing.
Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Scatter the nuts and seeds over top and wonton noodles, if using. Serve immediately.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SERVING ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD
This makes the perfect luncheon salad. It’s wonderful for entertaining because you can assemble all of the “salad” ingredients ahead of time, dressing it just prior to serving. This is really a complete meal in and of itself.
If you are a vegetarian or are wanting to prepare this recipe for a vegetarian you can substitute tofu pieces for the chicken. Jackfruit also becomes very popular as the texture very closely resembles the texture of meats.
So there you have it, Asian Chicken Salad. Colorful, crunchy, and somewhat addictive. Easy to prepare ahead, perfect for entertaining, this simple and delicious recipe is bound to become a favorite in your home!
- 2 cups hand shredded romaine lettuce
- 2 cups hand shredded red cabbage
- 2 cups hand shredded green cabbage
- 1 cup of peeled and julienned carrot
- 1 cup of frozen edamame beans, thawed
- 1 bunch fresh scallions thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 cup of canned mandarin oranges, well drained
- 3 cups of shredded poached chicken breast
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ cup toasted flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds to garnish
- 3 ½ ounce bag of wonton noodles to garnish (optional)
- ½ cup of Ginger & Mandarin Salad Dressing (Or your favourite oriental flavoured salad dressing)
- Prepare all your vegetables. Hand shred both cabbages and the lettuce. Peel the carrot and cut into 2 inch lengths, cut into thin slices, and then julienne the slices. Wash your scallions, trim, and then slice thinly on the diagonal.
- Place all of your prepared vegetables into a large bowl. Add the shredded chicken, drained mandarins, and thawed edamame beans. Season with some salt and pepper and toss well together.
- This much can be done ahead of time, covered and chilled in the refrigerator. Do not dress or garnish until just before you serve the salad.
- When you are ready to serve the salad, drizzle with the salad dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Scatter the nuts and seeds over top and wonton noodles, if using. Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 544 per serving
Marie Rayner is a retired Chef, freelance writer, recipe developer, food blogger, and Cookbook author. She makes her home in Chester, UK, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their much beloved English Cocker, Mitzie. Her motto is “Life is far too short to eat bad food,” and her goal is to share delicious and easy recipes which anyone can enjoy and cook in the comfort of their own home.