Chinese Chicken Salad

A healthy lunch recipe found in “Rethink School Lunch –
Cooking With California Food” an E-book published
by Center for Ecoliteracy

Chinese Chicken Salad

Snow peas, which add a sweet crunch to this recipe, were an early spring crop in ancient China, harvested when snow was still on the ground, hence their name. Napa cabbage has a sweet, mild taste and can be used raw in salads, as it is here. Toasting the walnuts first will bring out their flavor.

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Serves 6 – 4

4 skinless , boneless chicken breasts,
or 2 to 3 cups shredded chicken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
8–10 wonton wrappers, cut into 1/3–inch strips
1 head Napa cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and shredded,
or 6 cups shredded Napa cabbage
1/2 pound snow peas, stems snapped off and pods cut thinly
3 spring onions, or scallions, cut thinly (optional)
3 mandarins, 2 peeled and sectioned and 1 juiced
1/2 cup walnut meats, toasted 1 minute in a dry frying pan
1/3 cup walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Chinese sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons mandarin juice (or lime juice)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt


[1] Place the chicken breasts in a small saucepan with about 1 inch of water. Cover, and over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until the chicken is opaque, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and let it cool. With a fork and knife, pull cooked meat apart into shreds. Save chicken broth for another purpose.

[2] Heat vegetable oil in the same saucepan and add a small amount of the wonton strips, and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 10 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining strips.

[3] Combine shredded cabbage with the snow peas, spring onions (if using), mandarin orange sections, and walnuts in a large bowl to make the base of the salad. In a separate small bowl, add the walnut and sesame oil. Whisk in the soy sauce, the mandarin or lime juice, and the rice vinegar. Add salt and whisk. Add the shredded chicken, won ton strips, and dressing to the salad base. Toss and serve.

Suggestion: Add 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger to add more spice, or, for a vegetarian option, replace chicken with tofu cubes sautéed to a golden brown in Chinese sesame oil.