Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Chinese Chick’n Salad

Chinese Chick’n Salad, a delicious new version of a classic salad modified for vegans. (Photos from Deborah Brooks)

In my pre-vegan days, Chinese Chicken Salad was a favorite option when eating out. Crispy, crunchy, bright and refreshing, it satisfied my sweet/salty tooth while still feeling healthy. Two of my favorite versions were at Chin Chin and Wolfgang Puck Cafe. Total opposites on the Chinese Chicken Salad spectrum but equally delicious. Chin Chin’s dressing was sweet, piquant and gingery while Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois dressing was creamy with a hot mustard/wasabi kick.

So when setting out to create a vegan Chinese Chicken Salad for a luncheon for friends, I decided to meld the two flavor profiles into one dressing. Wow! Quite complex and so delicious! While it’s a long list of ingredients as far as salad dressing goes, don’t panic! It’s quite simple to prepare. Just a bit of measuring and whisking and you’ll have a new favorite dressing. My girlfriends adored it, one even saying she could drink the dressing right from the jar.

Now, what about the chicken part of the salad? Finding a great plant based replacement can be challenging as not all plant based chicken replacements are equal. I’ve tasted quite and few and can definitively say that Daring vegan chicken products, available in the freezer section of local markets, are a fantastic replica of hen chicken in both taste and texture. For this salad I chose to use the Teriyaki Chicken version to add another layer of Asian flavor. Daring also makes a plain grilled chicken version for a simpler taste.

For the salad base, I used a combination of shredded Napa cabbage, iceberg lettuce, radicchio and carrots. To add extra crunch I tossed in toasted slivered almonds, chow mein noodles, toasted sesame seeds and sliced water chestnuts. Chopped green onions and chopped pickled ginger added that extra punch of flavor that brought it all together. Other great additions would be fresh chopped mango, sliced mandarin oranges or toasted cashews.

I do hope that you’ll try this delicious new version of a classic salad.

Chinese Chick’n Salad
Serves 8-10

1 head Napa cabbage, hand shredded into large pieces
1 head iceberg lettuce, hand shredded into large pieces
2 packed cups shredded carrots
1-2 cups cup shredded radicchio or red cabbage
4 packages Daring Teriyaki chicken cooked according to package directions, cooled and sliced up
2 cans sliced water chestnuts, drained and slivered
1 cup toasted slivered almonds
2 cups chow mein noodles
½ cup chopped green onions, green part only
1/3 cup chopped pickled ginger

Dressing (recipe below)

Chopped green onions, chow mein noodles and toasted sesame seeds to top for presentation

Add all salad ingredients to a very large mixing bowl and toss up. Add dressing to taste and toss again to coat all ingredients. Put in a large serving bowl or platter. Top with additional chopped green onions, chow mein noodles and sesame seeds for presentation.

Makes about 3 cups

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup hot Chinese mustard
2 T agave nectar
1 T sweet chili sauce
3 T very finely chopped pickled ginger
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 T white horseradish or to taste
1.5 tsp wasabi paste or to taste
2.5 T tahini
4 T toasted sesame oil
3/4 cups roasted peanut oil
1/4 cup refined peanut oil

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the first nine ingredients together until well combined. Whisk in the tahini until incorporated. Slowing whisk in the 3 oils until emulsified. Taste for seasoning and adjust any flavors. Best made a day ahead to allow flavors to develop. Dressing must be refrigerated.

Ingredients you will need for Chinese Chick’n Salad
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Deborah Brooks
Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.

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