A crunchy cabbage salad with an asian inspired sesame vinaigrette topped with grilled chicken, chow mien noodles, and mandarin oranges is the restaurant quality salad you will be making at home all year long. Filled with fresh vegetables and crunchy noodles this Asian Chopped Salad Recipe is sure to be a new family favorite.
Asian Cabbage Salad Recipe
This salad goes by many names Chinese Chopped Salad, Asian Chopped Chicken Salad, Oriental Salad, Asian Crunch Salad, but my all time favorite is… Mom’s Invaded Salad… Let me explain.
When I was young I am guessing probably around 7 or 8 my mom made a salad just like the one I am sharing with you today for our dinner. Well my sister and I (who is 2 years younger) were not about this salad, we immediately turned up our noses and were not having it. I could honestly not tell you why because these days I inhale it but something about it was not what we wanted.
So my mom being a mom gave us the mom speech, you know the ‘no other food until bed, you can’t leave your seat until you at least try it’ bit. Well we must have put up quite a stink about “mom’s invaded salad” because my parents eventually left the room with the two of us sitting there with our untouched salads…
Well the geniuses that my sister and I are we turned to our younger brother, who was not yet old enough to truly grasp the grossness of what mom served us and had already eaten his. And we quickly fed him as much of ours as he could handle, which was just enough to make it seem as we had eaten ours. That’s right, we used the oldest trick in the book, we made the little brother eat it all. And that is the story of how a simple Asian Chopped Chicken Salad became known as “Mom’s Invaded Salad”.
To this day my family still jokes about Mom’s Invaded Salad. The funniest part is my siblings and I really did turn out to be good eaters and all go crazy about these types of salads as adults.
Now I realize that that story might not be the best intro if you are a mom who is wanting to give this to your young children but I promise that my 1 & 3 year old like it a lot. I mean you can’t really go wrong with topping a salad with mandarin oranges and chow mien noodles.
So what is in Asian Chopped Chicken Salad?
The base of the salad is Napa cabbage, red cabbage, and green onions. Napa cabbage is the perfect base, it is both crunchy yet not hard and has a good mellow flavor that isn’t too pronounced. With that being said I have occasionally had trouble finding napa cabbage as it is not one of the more popular cabbages so I have made this salad with romaine as a sub and it still tastes pretty good if you are in a pinch. And then for some bright color, crunch, and flavor I use a red cabbage. Thinly sliced blends really nicely with this Napa. And the final part of the base is slice green onions, they add a little extra flavor boost to the mild cabbages, the zing from the onions plays really nicely with the sweetness from the cucumber and oranges.
For the crunch we add cucumbers and chow mien noodles. Cucumbers are cut matchstick style to make them easy to eat. I recommend using the English cucumber variety because they are less seedy and watery. And for the best part of the crunch, the chow mien noodles. The classic little noodles you find in the tins next to the soy sauce at the grocery store, these crunchy little guys are also a delight to snack on as you get the rest of the salad ready!
And then for the sweet, those fun little sliced mandarin oranges! Yes the ones that come in the little fruit cups! You can buy either the big jar or use a few fruit cups for this recipe, the most important part is to be sure to drain the juice so your salad doesn’t become soggy!
And then to add to the top you will grill up some chicken breasts!
Lastly you will whip up a really easy Sesame Vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is made up of rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, brown sugar, and salt. Very simple ingredients but turns out an amazing dressing for the salad!
How to make this Asian Crunch Salad
Start by getting your chicken ready to grill. Pre-heat you grill to high heat. To make your chicken closer to the proper proportions you will want to cut 2 chicken breast into 4 cutlets. Butterfly cut the chicken breasts in half the long way, creating 4 chicken breast cutlets. Bonus to preparing your chicken this was is that the thiner pieces of chicken will also grill more evenly and faster!
Lightly oil chicken and place over direct heat, grill 4 minutes. Flip chicken and grill another 4-5 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Cover and rest 3-5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and slice each breast cutlet to be placed on the salad.
While chicken is cooking make the Seseame Viniagrette. Add rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, brown sugar, and salt to a bowl or jar. Whisk until sugar dissolves.
Now to build your salad. Add napa cabbage, red cabbage, green onions, and cucumber to a large bowl. Add the Sesame Vinaigrette and toss to coat. Divide the salad between 4 serving dishes and top with your mandarin oranges, chow mein noodles, and sliced chicken. Serve immeditely.
I think of this salad as a complete meal so you don’t really need a side dish for it, but if you are looking for more fun loaded salads check out my Summer Berry Salad or my Marinated Chickpea Chopped Salad!
Well, this one is for you mom, you finally got me to eat your invaded salad!
TIPS & TRICKS:
• you can make the dressing ahead of time, as well as the chicken, the chicken is good in this salad both warm or cold
• some sliced almonds in this salad would be pretty good if you are looking for even more crunch
• as stated above if you are unable to find Napa cabbage, romaine makes a good substitute
- 2 chicken breasts*
- 1 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 cup chow mein noodles
- 1 english cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pre-heat grill to high heat. Cut the chicken breasts in half the long way, creating 4 chicken breats cutlets. Lightly oil chicken.
- Place chicken over direct heat and grill 4 minutes. Flip chicken and grill another 4-5 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Cover and rest 3-5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and slice each breast cutlet to be placed on the salad.
- While chicken is cooking make the Seseame Viniagrette. Add rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, brown sugar, and salt to a bowl or jar. Whisk until sugar dissolves.
- To build salad add napa cabbage, red cabbage, green onions, and cucumber to a large bowl. Add the Seseame Viniagrette and toss to coat. Divide between 4 serving dishes and top with mandarin oranges, chow mein, and sliced chicken. Serve immeditely.
*cutting 2 chicken breast into 4 makes the chicken closer to the proper proportion size, if you want feel free to use 4 chicken breasts
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 20g Cholesterol: 51mg Sodium: 775mg Carbohydrates: 32g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 16g Protein: 23g
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Peace & Love
Lauren, The Schmidty Wife
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