Cheap Chinese Chicken Salad for Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Dinners
I originally shared this recipe in 2009, but since I started making it again I decided to update it. Here are some ingredient notes and tips to help you customize your perfect Chinese Chicken Salad.
- Sweetener: Brown sugar is my favorite in this type of recipe, but honey, agave nectar, maple syrup or old plain sugar also taste delicious.
- Oil: Sesame oil adds richness and flavor, so I highly recommend using it unless you are allergic. But feel free to use your favorite salad oil for the base oil. I’m just leaning towards olive or neutral-tasting oils.
- Green vegetables: There are no rules. I usually like to add crunchy shredded green and/or red cabbage, but I mix in the other greens. You can use napa cabbage, romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, spinach, etc. Most green vegetables pair well with the bold flavors of Chinese chicken salad. And I won’t say if you decide to use bagged coleslaw mix and pre-cut greens. Confession: I’ve done it several times. No judgment here.
- Optional add-ons: If you are serving four or more people, I like to put all the optional toppings in bowls. But if it’s just a group of two or three, I usually choose a few depending on the tastes of the group. In this case, I could make slivered almonds Where chow mein noodles, water chestnuts Where cucumber, coriander Where green onion, etc. In general, I focus on covering textural bases. A good dairy-free Chinese chicken salad should have a balance of tender, juicy, and crunchy elements, in my opinion.
Special Dietary Notes: Chinese Chicken Salad
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free/dairy-free, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, optionally nut-free, and peanut-free.
For a vegan Chinese salad, replace the chicken with extra firm tofu. Marinate and cook it as you would chicken.
Dairy-Free Chinese Chicken Salad
Author: Alisa Fleming
Type of recipe: Hall
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed or minced
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1½ teaspoons sriracha or chili-garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons peanut, olive or grapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 8-10 cups greens (I use a combination of salad greens and cabbage)
- 1 large carrot, grated or julienned
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced or chopped
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- ¼ to ½ cup sliced water chestnuts
- 1 can (11 ounces) tangerines, drained
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup crispy chow mein noodles (not gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- If the chicken breasts are thick, fluff them up. Place the chicken in a single layer in a glass baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. Pour this mixture over the chicken.
- If you have time, let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Otherwise, put them in the oven as soon as it preheats.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Bake the chicken for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through. The juices should run clear, but be careful not to overcook the breasts, as they can easily dry out.
- Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces or shred it with two forks.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy or tamari sauce, sugar, sriracha or garlic sauce and ginger.
- Pour the oils into the vinaigrette while whisking.
- Add greens, carrots, bell pepper and cooked chicken to a large bowl.
- Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat well.
- Add any optional additions you like and briefly mix the ingredients together. Or, serve the additions in small bowls and let people choose their own toppings.
- Divide salad among four plates to serve.
Portion: ¼ salad without options calories: 384 Big: 18g Saturated fat: 3.7g Carbohydrates: 16.8g Sugar: 9.9g Sodium: 1051mg Fiber: 3.5g Protein: 35.9g
More dairy-free salad recipes
Caesar salad with crunchy cumin-spiced pecans
Quick Chicken Burrito Salad Bowls
Vegan Ranch Salad with BBQ Roasted Cauliflower