A Chinese chicken salad is one of those things that if I spot it on a restaurant menu, I’ll probably order it. There’s something about the crunchy cabbage, creamy avocado and bright taste of cilantro that makes it one of my favorite flavor combinations. I’ve had my go-to version that I’ve made at home for years, but it was starting to feel a bit yawn… so I decided to give it a little springtime makeover. I kept all my usual ingredients, but added extra crunch with shelled edamame and slivered almonds, and instead of sticking to just cilantro, I made it an herbal triple threat and showered the salad with mint and basil, too. But the best thing about this salad is the 3-ingredient dressing: hoisin sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar come together to create the most addictive vinaigrette that I find myself wanting to drizzle over everything. Keep reading for lots more lovely photos by Kim Jones, and the recipe that’s destined to become a weeknight staple.
*photos by Kim Jones
For the salad:
2 split chicken breast halves (skin and bones on)
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 heart of romaine, core discarded and finely shredded
1/2 head red cabbage, core discarded and finely shredded
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
3/4 cup shelled edamame (thawed if frozen)
1 firm-but-ripe avocado, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1/4 cup mint, chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
For the dressing:
1/4 cup good-quality hoisin sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken breasts on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and rub with olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast until fully-cooked, about 35 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then shred into small pieces using your fingers. Discard skin and bones. Refrigerate chicken until fully cooled.
- Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
- In a large bowl, combine romaine, cabbage, carrot and edamame, and toss to combine. Add avocado and all the herbs, then drizzle everything with as much dressing as you'd like, and gently toss it all together. Sprinkle the almonds and sesame seeds over the top and serve.