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Crunchy Chinese Chicken Salad

Scott Phillips

Servings: four as a main course.

Most supermarkets carry sweet and hot chile sauces, but if you have trouble finding them, try an Asian market.


For the salad:

  • 2 bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts (about 2-1/4 lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 square wonton wrappers
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 oz. snow peas, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into thirds (1/2 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 small head napa cabbage, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips (3 to 3-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 romaine heart, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips (1-1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 3 large scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on the diagonal (1/2 cup)

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. sweet Asian chile sauce
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (2 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. hot Asian chile sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil


Prepare the salad ingredients:

  • Heat the oven to 425°F. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Roast on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a breast registers 165°F, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool. Remove and discard the skin and then shred the meat. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
  • Stack the wonton wrappers on a cutting board and cut them into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Separate the strips, lay them on the baking sheet, and mist them lightly with the cooking spray. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Scrunch each strip to give it a wavy shape, if you like. Bake at 375°F until golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350°F.

  • Spread the sliced almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Boil the snow peas just until bright green but still crisp, about 20 seconds. Drain and transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain.
  • Put the sesame seeds in a dry skillet and shake or stir over medium heat until light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the hot pan to prevent overcooking.

Make the dressing and assemble the salad:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, tamari, sweet chile sauce, garlic, ginger, salt, hot chile sauce, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the peanut and sesame oils.
  • In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, romaine, and snow peas. In another bowl, toss the chicken and scallions with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Add the chicken to the greens, and then add the sesame seeds and almonds. Toss with enough of the remaining dressing to coat well. Garnish each serving with the baked wonton strips.


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Reviews (16 reviews)

  • annaostlind | 02/01/2020

    Very good! Will make again!

  • Cocodrie | 07/02/2018

    This is time consuming, but not difficult, to put together. I had my husband grill an extra bone-in, skin-on, split chicken breast so I could make this salad for the second time last night. Being in the middle of a heat wave, having him grill the extra chicken breast the day before, kept me from having to turn on my oven. For color, I did add some thinly sliced red pepper strips, and shredded carrots to the salad, and used store bought "Fresh Gourmet Wonton Strips", rather than making my own. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as written, halving it for two of us. I've been thinking about it all day today. I highly recommend this recipe, and will be making it many time over. It's just so very good!

  • cincybrat | 01/19/2017

    Wonderful salad! Two ideas: To make the won ton strips wavy, place 2 chop sticks parallel to each other on the baking sheet, then drape the strips over them. Also, I scraped the chicken drippings into the sauce which gave it a delicious depth.

  • EllaJean | 07/06/2014

    This is an awesome salad. It is a little time consuming to make but well worth the effort.

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