Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

A lighter Chinese Chicken Salad, with sweet mandarins, crunchy wontons, and tender poached chicken in a sesame ginger dressing.


  • 225 grams napa cabbage (~2-3 large leaves)
  • 1 small carrot peeled and shredded
  • 5 sprigs cilantro chopped
  • 2 scallions finely chopped
  • 40 grams slivered almonds (~1/3 cup)
  • 2 wonton wrappers
  • 1 teaspoonextra virgin olive oil
  • 225 grams chicken tenders (1/2 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon asian hot mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 mandarins each segment peeled
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


  1. In a bowl, toss the Napa cabbage, carrots, cilantro and scallions together to combine and then cover with cold water. Let the vegetables crisp while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. Place the almond slivers on a small baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees F (180 C) until golden brown. They’ll go from just right to burnt in a matter of seconds, so keep a close watch on their progress. Transfer the almonds to a small bowl.
  3. Lay the wonton wrappers on a flat surface and use a pastry brush to generously brush one surface with olive oil. Use a sharp knife to slice them into 1/4-inch strips and give each strip a twirl before placing them on the baking sheet and baking until the wontons are golden brown and crunchy.
  4. In a medium pot with a lid, bring 8 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a rolling boil. Add the chicken tenders to the pot, cover with the lid and then turn off the heat. Poach until the chicken is no longer pink in the center (about 5-7 minutes, depending on how thick it is). 
  5. While the chicken is cooking, prepare a bowl of ice water.
  6. When the chicken is done, drain it and add the chicken to the ice water to stop the cooking. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it and set it aside.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vegetable oil, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger juice, salt, mustard and white pepper until emulsified.
  8. Drain the salad greens and run them through a salad spinner, patting any remaining water off with paper towels. Add the greens to a dry bowl.
  9. Toss the salad with the sesame seeds and 2/3rds of the dressing and then place it in a serving bowl or platter.
  10. Top with the almonds, chicken, baked wonton wrappers and pour the remaining dressing on top. The salad needs to be served as soon as it’s dressed.

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