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Asian Chopped Chicken Salad – a simple chopped salad with chicken and loaded with colorful veggies and great big flavors from a homemade sesame dressing.
Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
Yes! I’ve got another incredible salad for you guys today that I’m just crazy about. Packed full of crispy, bright veggies all doused in a creamy dreamy dressing, this salad is about to become your new favorite lunch – or dinner! Whoever said salad was boring has not tried this one, believe me it has everything you’ve ever needed and more.
The ingredients are lots of fresh vegetables like napa cabbage, you can use just a regular white cabbage if you want, celery, carrots, red bell pepper, cucumbers, edamame and of course lots of chicken breast. I bought a roasted chicken and used all of the chicken breast from it. This salad is absolute perfection, but I haven’t even gotten into what takes it into the stratosphere.
The Magic Is In The Dressing
But the dressing here is the kicker. I used about a tbsp of miso paste in the dressing, which I will go and say now that it’s optional, but it will provide a fishy, salty and a bit nutty flavor to the dressing. As far as all the other ingredients in the dressing, I just added whatever I thought screamed Asian flavors to me, like sesame oil, soy sauce (I always use the low sodium one), ginger and garlic and a bit of lime juice.
Just put everything together in a blender and you’ll end up with a really nice and creamy dressing.
What Is Miso?
Now stay with me on this one, because miso may sound a little unappetizing, but it’s a flavor secret weapon when used correctly. Miso paste is made by fermenting soybeans, koji, and occasionally rice. It’s a Japanese condiment that is incorporated into tons of different dishes, ever heard of Miso soup?
Ingredients In Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
- Lime juice – We want some super bright acid in our dressing, but it must be fresh.
- Sesame oil – This will lend so much amazing smokiness to our salad today, it’s one of my favorite secret flavor bombs to keep in the cupboard so be sure to pick some up when you can.
- Soy sauce – We’re using light soy sauce today, low sodium as always.
- Miso – Our fermented miso paste is going to be such an instrumental flavor component in this dish, so be sure to grab some at the grocery store, it’s usually in a refrigerated aisle.
- Aromatics – Fresh garlic and ginger please. If jarred is all you have on hand just keep in mind that 1 1/2 teaspoons of jarred equals 1 fresh clove.
- Olive oil – We need an oil component to ensure our dressing is creamy and perfectly pourable.
- Seasoning – We’re just using ground black pepper today.
- Veggies – Shredded napa cabbage, edamame, julienned celery, carrot, cucumber, and bell pepper.
- Chicken – Cooked and shredded up.
- Seasoning – Salt and pepper.
- Garnish – Toasted sesame seeds and fresh cilantro all chopped up.
How To Make Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
- Combine the dressing: First make the dressing by adding all ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse a few times until creamy, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Prep the veggies: I julienned all the vegetables, but you could also chop them if preferred. In a large bowl, add the napa cabbage, celery, carrots, red bell pepper, edamame, cucumber, chicken breast and toss everything well together.
- Finish the salad: Add the sesame seeds, cilantro and the prepared dressing, then toss everything well together again. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.
How Do I Julienne My Veggies?
This cutting method is going to be used for most of the vegetables in our salad today. The key to julienning veggies is to cut the veggies into long thin strips, similar in size and shape to match sticks.
Can’t Find Any Miso?
If you cannot find miso paste, you can just omit it from the dressing or add a bit of fish sauce to the dressing.
Can I Use Fresh Chicken?
If you have some raw chicken taking up space in your freezer, feel free to use it in this dish! I used pre-cooked chicken for this recipe but if you’re using raw chicken breast here’s my recipe for making the best baked chicken breast.
If you have a pressure cooker, you can also throw a couple chicken breasts in there with a cup of water or broth. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes on high pressure.
What Else Can I Use In My Asian Chopped Chicken Salad?
There’s lots you can use in this salad! I think that how it stands right at this moment is beyond perfection, but if you’d like to add some ingredients you have sitting around your fridge, then who am I to stop you!
- Bok choy
- Green papaya
- Cherry tomatoes
- Chili peppers
- Crushed peanuts
Can I Make This Salad Ahead?
If you want to plan ahead and make this salad a day or two before you need it, make sure to leave the dressing off until right before you serve the salad.
Take the dressing out of the fridge about an hour before you need it and let it come to room temperature. This will make sure the honey and peanut butter have a chance to warm up a bit and make everything much easier to toss.
How to Store Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
If you anticipate leftovers, I would leave the dressing off the salad and toss as needed. The veggies tend to get soggy after a day sitting with the dressing and are not as appetizing.
This salad will last 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
More Delicious Salad Recipes To Try:
- Thai Chicken Salad
- Crunchy Asian Salad
- Avocado Chicken Salad
- Easy Coleslaw Recipe
- Mexican Street Corn Slaw
- Easy Chicken Salad Recipe
- Chopped Salad with Orzo and Corn
- Chicken Shawarma Tabbouleh Salad
- Chicken Spinach Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing
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Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 cups napa cabbage shredded
- 1 celery stalk chopped or julienned
- 1 cup carrots julienned
- 1 red bell pepper julienned
- 1 cup edamame
- 1/2 English cucumber julienned
- 2 cups chicken breasts fully cooked, chopped (about 2 )
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
- First make the dressing by adding all ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse a few times until creamy, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- I julienned all the vegetables, but you could also chop them if preferred. In a large bowl, add the napa cabbage, celery, carrots, red bell pepper, edamame, cucumber, chicken breast and toss everything well together.
- Add the sesame seeds, cilantro and the prepared dressing, then toss everything well together again. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve immediately.
- To julienne vegetables, cut them into long, thin strips, like matchsticks.
- I used pre-cooked chicken for this recipe. If you're using raw chicken breast, season with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes at 400F.
- Miso paste is a traditional Japanese seasoning made by fermenting soybeans with salt, rice, barley and other ingredients.
- If you cannot find miso paste, you can just omit it from the dressing or add a bit of fish sauce to the dressing.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.