Oriental Chicken Salad Recipe With DIY Asian Salad Dressing

This Oriental Chicken Salad recipe is a great easy Asian chicken salad for summer meals — or if you need some extra green during the dreary days of winter! Because all of the main ingredients are cold and the final assembly is so quick, it’s one of my favorite summer dinner ideas!

The homemade Oriental chicken salad dressing recipe is very simple, but be sure to give it time to chill in the fridge. You’ll be glad you did when your dinner salad stays nice and cold on a warm summer evening!

All of the ingredients for this Asian-inspired salad are quite mild and basic. You can always rev things up with your own additions, but this recipe as written has been near the top of my family’s favorites list for over 25 years. Even my salad-hating older son will eat two bowls of this for dinner, so that tells me it’s pretty good stuff.

Anything that simple and popular quickly becomes part of my monthly menu planning. I hope it’s a recipe that you’ll add to your own dinner rotation…

Pinnable image for a Chicken Oriental Salad recipe featuring two images: the top shows a close-up of the salad with crisp green lettuce, chicken, and crunchy noodles, and the bottom image displays the salad in a large mixing bowl ready to serve. Text overlay states 'CHICKEN ORIENTAL SALAD with crunchy noodles'.

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Choosing the Right Chicken for Your Salad

You can use any type of cooked chicken you like for this Asian salad recipe. Because I first had it with simple cooked and chilled chunked boneless skinless chicken breast, that’s what I usually default to. 

Whenever we get a good deal on boneless skinless chicken breast, we stock up and pre-cook a bunch by simmering on the stove with simple salt and pepper seasoning. This is a great idea to work into your weekend food prep routine. The resulting cooked chicken is perfect for this recipe.

Although for most meals we prefer chicken thighs, for some reason they don’t work quite as well as chicken breast for this salad recipe. The texture is not as appealing to my family.

Other chicken options you can try (I have NOT tested these):

  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Breaded chicken strips (frozen or from the deli)
  • Frozen grilled chicken strips
  • Leftover grilled boneless skinless chicken breast (be careful not to let it dry out)

How to Make Oriental Chicken Salad

This delicious and filling salad is so easy to make! It’s really no more than cooking some chicken, blending a few ingredients, and chopping some lettuce before throwing it all together.

Think of this as a 2-stage recipe. For stage 1, in the morning or the previous night, you’ll want to cook the chicken and prepare the dressing. For stage 2, at mealtime, you’ll chop, assemble, and enjoy!

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

If you already have pre-cooked, chopped chicken, you can skip this step. If you’re using fresh chicken, it’s best to cook the chicken the day before you’ll use it or early in the morning on the day you’ll be assembling the salad. The chicken needs plenty of time to chill.

In a large skillet on your stove (I use this 5-quart ‘jumbo cooker’ pan), place boneless skinless chicken breasts. This recipe needs about one pound of chicken, but I always cook extra to use for several recipes. You can fill the bottom of the pan, but don’t tightly pack the meat. Add water to reach about halfway up the depth of the chicken.

Season with your favorite seasonings. I usually keep things simple for this dish with only salt and pepper. Since this recipe is so flexible, feel free to use whatever you like, such as garlic powder, onion powder, Chinese 5-spice seasoning, etc.

Bring chicken just to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer tests in the safe zone for chicken.

Once cooked, cool the chicken and broth just enough to safely transfer to the refrigerator. Chill chicken for several hours or overnight.

After the chicken is well-chilled, you will use enough chicken to total about one pound of meat. Chop the chicken into chunks about 1/2″ x 1/2″ — larger or smaller according to your preference.

Process or freeze the rest of your pre-cooked chicken and broth however you wish.

Step-by-step process for making Asian salad dressing in a blender. Step 1 shows ingredients in the blender with text 'Place ingredients in blender.' Step 2, the mixture is blending, labeled 'Blend.' Step 3, the dressing is in the refrigerator, captioned 'Chill at least 30 min.' Step 4, the dressing is blending again, with the directive 'Blend again before serving.'

Step 2: Prepare the Oriental Chicken Salad Dressing

This basic sweet-and-sour style homemade Asian dressing is so simple to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup salad oil (a mild oil tastes best, but use whatever you prefer)
  • 4 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt (we prefer kosher salt or pink Himalayan salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and run on high for about 1-2 minutes. (Don’t let it run long enough for the blender to heat the mixture.) Let stand for 5-10 minutes and blend again.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (longer is fine) and blend again before serving over salad to prevent wilting. Mix dressing with salad JUST before serving.

Note: The original recipe called for 1 Tablespoon MSG and 2 teaspoons salt. I simply eliminated the MSG and just use the 2 teaspoons of salt. If you don’t have a problem with MSG, you can always try the recipe with and without it to see which you prefer.

🤩 A good blender makes this so easy! While my decade-old Oster blender shown in the photographs is no longer available, there is a similar powerful Oster blender available on Amazon.

Step 3: Assemble the Salad

Since you have already prepared the chicken and the dressing, this Asian salad comes together very quickly!

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces prepared chicken from Step 1
  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts
  • 1 can crunchy rice noodles
  • 4-ounce package almond slices or slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds (OPTIONAL)
  • 3-4 sliced green onions
  • Prepared dressing from Step 2
Ingredients for an Oriental Chicken Salad neatly arranged in a bowl before mixing, with separate sections of chopped chicken thighs, crunchy fried noodles, slivered almonds, and fresh green lettuce, ready for tossing.

Roughly chop romaine lettuce into bite-size pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add prepared chunked chicken. If you haven’t chunked the chicken yet, you can do that now.

OPTIONAL: For more crunch and variety, you can add a small bag of cabbage coleslaw mix.

Next, add most of a small can of crunchy rice noodles, the sliced or slivered almonds, (optional) poppy seeds, and sliced green onions.

Close-up of a Chicken Oriental Salad in a bowl, showing a colorful mix of chopped lettuce, slivered almonds, chunked chicken, and a sprinkling of crunchy noodles, all tossed together for a fresh and appetizing look.

Mix ingredients. Blend the chilled homemade dressing briefly and add to the salad just before serving to prevent wilting. Mix thoroughly with salad tongs or two large spoons.

Save some crunchy rice noodles for topping the salads when serving.

Yield: 4

Oriental Chicken Salad

A freshly plated Chicken Oriental Salad, featuring a mound of crispy fried noodles on top of a bed of mixed romaine lettuce and chopped chicken, presented on a white plate with a fork on the side, ready to be enjoyed.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cooked, chilled, and chunked
  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 can rice noodles
  • 4 oz. almond slices or slivers
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds (OPTIONAL)
  • 4 green onions, chopped

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup salad oil
  • 4 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt, kosher or pink Himalayan
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, coarse cracked

Instructions

Salad

Cook, chill, and chunk chicken. Combine in a large bowl with chopped romaine, rice noodles, almond slices, poppy seeds, and green onions.

Dressing

Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and run on high for 1-2 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes and blend again. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and blend again before serving over salad to prevent wilting. Mix dressing with salad JUST before serving.

Notes

Save some rice noodles for the top of your salad. You can see by the photo that I love rice noodles!

Can This Salad Be Made In Advance?

Unfortunately, this Asian chicken salad does not store well once it has been assembled. It will begin wilting soon after adding the dressing.

You can always prepare extra chicken, dressing, and chopped romaine lettuce. Stored properly, these ingredients will keep separately in the fridge for at least a couple of days. Then you can quickly re-blend the dressing and throw together a single serving for a meal.

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Final Thoughts

This Oriental Chicken Salad offers a delightful mix of textures and flavors that are sure to make it a favorite in your recipe collection. I understand the importance of simplicity and deliciousness in your daily cooking endeavors. That’s why I’m confident this summer-inspired salad will become a go-to for those days when you crave something light yet satisfying.

Now, to make your meal planning even easier, grab my free printable list for a full year of monthly dinner ideas. It’s packed with recipes that are as scrumptious as this one, designed to simplify your life. Sign up below to have it sent right to your inbox!


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Pinterest image for Asian Chicken Salad with crunchy noodles and a simple DIY dressing, showcasing a fresh salad bowl and a blender containing homemade dressing. Text overlay highlights 'ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD with crunchy noodles' and 'simple DIY dressing' with an arrow pointing to the dressing in the blender.

8 thoughts on “Oriental Chicken Salad Recipe With DIY Asian Salad Dressing”

  1. Yum!!! This sounds and looks tasty! We’re a sal loving family, I’m quite sure we would love this. Thanks for sharing.
    XOXO

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