Asian Chicken Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette

After Friday’s post, you know I had to hit you with something healthful today.

Here it is.

It doesn’t get much easier and better than this salad that takes less than 30 minutes to throw together and is downright delicious. I’m a huge fan of hoisin sauce – I love the unique flavors and who knew that it would meld into a perfect vinaigrette for this light and healthful salad?

Although simple, this salad is packed with crunchy red peppers, snappy bean sprouts, fresh cabbage and lettuce, tender and flavorful chicken…and all of that deliciousness is topped with the delightful crunch of chow mein noodles and smothered in the light vinaigrette.

My only recommendation would be that if you are planning to have leftovers, add the dressing to each individual serving when eating it for the first time and then store the dressing separately so that the lettuce doesn’t get soggy with the dressing overnight in the fridge.


What To ServeAn Asian-inspired side salad like Asian Noodle Salad or this Asian Salad
Baked Southwest Egg Rolls with Creamy Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Fresh fruit

Asian Chicken Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette

Yield: Makes 4-6 servings.

Asian Chicken Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette

Note: If you like your salad dripping with salad dressing, you may want to double the dressing ingredients. I thought the subtle hint of dressing was perfect but my husband wished there was a bit more dressing to adorn his salad.


  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 medium head napa cabbage, sliced crosswise into ¼-inch-thick shreds, about 4 cups
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeds and membrane discarded, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chow mein noodles


  1. Whisk the vinegar, oil, soy sauce, hoisin, and ginger together in a medium bowl. Remove ½ cup dressing from the bowl and set it aside. Add the chicken to the remaining dressing in the bowl, toss to coat, and let marinate 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack so it is 6 inches away from the broiler and heat the broiler. Coat the broiler pan top with vegetable spray. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the liquid, and lay the chicken breasts on the broiler pan top. Place the broiler pan top over the broiler pan bottom and place under the broiler. (Alternately, you can use a baking sheet pan lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.) Broil the chicken until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Flip the chicken and broil until it is fully cooked, 3 ½ to 4 minutes.
  3. Place the chicken on a clean plate and cover with plastic wrap. Poke a few vent holes in the wrap and refrigerate the chicken while preparing the other ingredients.
  4. Shred the cooled chicken and toss it with the cabbage, romaine lettuce, red pepper, sprouts and scallions in a large serving bowl. Rewhisk the dressing, pour it over the chicken salad, and toss to combine (if you want to prevent leftovers from getting soggy, you may want to pour the dressing over each individual serving so you can store the dressing separately in the fridge to eat with the leftover salad). Sprinkle with the chow mein noodles and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted from The Quick Recipe by Cook’s Illustrated

20 Responses to Asian Chicken Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette

  1. Eric B. says:

    Thinking about trying the dressing for a pasta salad with bowtie pasta, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber, chick peas, and roasted red pepper. I will report back if I do.

  2. Weez says:

    I loved this salad. A big thanks from my home to yours! I am in a dinner co-op, 3 friends and I make dinner for each other M-Th. I love finding new recipes to take them. This was a hit. I added candied slivered almonds, very good. I grilled my chicken. Yum.

    • Mel says:

      Weez – I think a dinner co-op would be so much fun. I’m glad this salad worked out well for you (and the others who got to eat it, too!).

  3. Melanie says:

    Julianne – I’m glad you liked this…despite the shredding issues. I agree that the dressing really makes this dish – and I think the addition of almonds is brilliant. Brilliant.

  4. Julianne says:

    Terrific. We made this last night. It was excellent. I should have looked at your picture…in the end, I ended up shredding (as in, food processor shredding) my chicken and also the cabbage, and I left the romaine a little too big for our liking. Nevertheless, it was soo good. We didn’t have green onions and I think it would have tasted great with them, but it tasted good without them.

    The dressing really makes this dish come to life. I think the only thing we would have changed (besides my awesome shredding method) would be to add silvered almonds, either toasted or (Ryan’s idea) lightly candied. I don’t know about candied, but I do know — this meal is great. Really excellent as leftovers, too. We just added the dressing to our bowls and not the whole thing, and I think that was a really good tip of yours, so that it wasn’t soggy at all.

    OK. Thanks for another winner.

  5. Melanie says:

    j – thanks for letting me know about the leftovers! I love the addition of crunchy water chestnuts – brilliant!

  6. Jill says:

    Hi Melanie, Just wanted to let you know the leftovers were even better the next day. The flavors had developed more. Also, I had a can of water chestnuts on hand so I drained them and tossed them with some of the dressing. Next time I think I will marinate the chicken and water chestnuts over night.

  7. Melanie says:

    j – thanks for letting me know that you liked this!

  8. Sallie My Sister's Kitchen says:

    I just noticed this cookbook the other day as I was browsing the internet. Have you made any other recipes from it?

  9. Frieda says:

    This vinagrette looks SO good~ I’m like you, just want a touch, while hubby wants it dripping! This would be so good on a whole wheat tortilla as a sandwich wrap…

  10. Poulsen Family says:

    Yum! We love hosin sauce here, we’ll have to try that one for sure!

  11. Sook says:

    I’m a big fan of hoisin sauce too! So this recipe is a must-try! 🙂

  12. Valerie says:

    Looks so good and healthy! And it would be even better followed by the not-so-healthy, but oh-so-yummy hot fudge pudding cake. 🙂

  13. grace says:

    how did you know i had leftover chow mein noodles looking for a home? this is perfect. 🙂

  14. Barbara says:

    I hate to make something healthy less so, but I love chow mein noodles and probably wouldn’t taste the salad for the noodles!
    Other than that, it is a lovely recipe and great photos!

  15. Melanie says:

    Sallie – I haven’t made any other recipes from that book although I have several bookmarked.

  16. Sallie My Sister's Kitchen says:

    Thanks for letting me know. I’m all about quick meals these days. I’m sure it’s good just like all their other books.

  17. Debbie says:

    I just love that dish and would love to try it. Looks so good!

  18. Jill says:

    Just made this for dinner and it was really good. A nice twist on chicken salad.

  19. Julie says:

    This sounds so yummy and flavorful! yum 🙂

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