Giao Trac’s Vietnamese Spring Rolls were such a hit with readers last year that I thought it was time we checked in with her to see if she had any other treats up her sleeve. Sure enough, she came back with Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger Dressing, one of her favorite quick, light meals. Though we don’t normally do leafy salads unless they are out of the ordinary, I like Giao’s idea because of the secret ingredient. There’s no surprise to the salad part; the magic is all in the dressing. Keep some on hand to toss vegetables in, as a sandwich dressing or anything else you like! — Kristina
About Giao (rhymes with ciao!): Giao was born in Vietnam, raised in Chicago and now calls Northern California home. She is a freelance photographer specializing in food, travel and editorial assignments. In her spare time, she chronicles her culinary adventures on her food photography blog, Kiss My Spatula, and tells stories about blending the scents and memories of her eastern heritage along with new ingredients and flavors of her western upbringing.
The full recipe continues after the jump!
Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger Dressing
Feel free to substitute the chicken with grilled tofu, shrimp or any protein of your liking.
- 1 boneless chicken breast, skin removed
- 1 medium-sized Napa (or Savoy) cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 small tomato, thinly sliced
- 1 mango, thinly sliced
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 2 tbsp. roasted sesame seeds
- handful of fresh mint, chopped
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- handful of roasted peanuts
Spicy Ginger Dressing
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. To poach chicken, place the breast in a small saucepan and add water, about 1 inch above the chicken. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiled, immediately lower heat to a very slow simmer and partly cover for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the chicken to cook in hot water for another 15 minutes. Once cooled, shred chicken and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the spicy ginger dressing.
3. Add the cabbage, chicken, carrots, tomato, mint and cilantro to the large bowl and toss gently. Top with mango slices and roasted peanuts. Garnish with scallions and roasted sesame seeds, and serve immediately.
Why Giao Chose This Recipe
This salad is a weekly staple at our house. It’s super easy, packed with nutrition, wrapped in a killer spicy ginger dressing and has become our new favorite go-to light dinner for warm summer evenings. It also doubles as a lovely side for beach picnics and backyard BBQs.