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Create a healthy and satisfying Asian Sesame Chicken Salad in minutes using simple ingredients!
This easy recipe combines tender chicken, crisp fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, and a mouthwatering sesame ginger dressing for a burst of flavors and textures.
You are going to love this Asian Orange-Ginger Dressing! It is tangy from the orange juice, and a bit sweet from the coconut aminos. And of course the ginger and garlic add a bit of zing to the mix.
What you’ll need
- Napa cabbage – If you can’t find Napa cabbage, you can use regular green cabbage or even savoy cabbage for a similar texture.
- Green cabbage – Swap it out with more Napa cabbage or use a mix of different greens like kale, spinach, or arugula for added variety.
- Red cabbage – If red cabbage isn’t available, you can omit it or replace it with more of the other cabbage varieties.
- Shredded carrots – Carrots can be substituted with julienned bell peppers, cucumber, or zucchini.
- Chopped fresh cilantro – If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can use parsley, mint, or basil.
- Green onions – replace with finely chopped red onion or chives if needed.
- Chopped chicken – Quick recipe below or you can make Instant Pot whole chicken, or simple roast chicken ahead of time.
- Sliced almonds – Swap with chopped cashews, peanuts, or sunflower seeds.
- Toasted sesame seeds – If you don’t have sesame seeds, you can omit them or use other seeds like sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
- Light olive, avocado oil, or canola oil
- Orange juice – Fresh squeezed or in a carton
- Rice wine vinegar – White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used as substitutes.
- Fresh garlic – You can use garlic powder if fresh garlic isn’t available.
- Grated fresh ginger – Ground ginger can be used in a pinch, but adjust the quantity to taste.
- Coconut aminos – Soy sauce or tamari can be used in place of coconut aminos (not whole30 or paleo).
- Fish sauce – Worcestershire sauce can be used as a substitute (not whole30 or paleo)
- Toasted sesame oil – Regular sesame oil can be used, but the flavor will be different.
- Maple syrup or sweet honey (optional) if you prefer a sweeter Asian salad dressing
Be sure to check out the detailed printable recipe card below
How to make Asian Sesame Salad
We are using 3 different types of cabbage to make this salad: Red or purple cabbage, Napa cabbage, and green cabbage.
You can slice, then chop your cabbage, or you can shred it thinly like the restaurants do. I do not have the patience for that, chopped salad with chicken works just fine for me.
Once your cabbage is chopped, place it in your salad spinner basket and rinse it really well with warm water. Then spin, spin, spin to remove the excess water.
Set the spinner aside to drain.
Asian Orange Ginger Sesame Dressing
Combine oil, orange juice, vinegar, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos, fish sauce, and sesame oil in a 1 pint glass mason jar.
Secure the lid to the jar and shake to thoroughly combine ingredients. Set aside.
In a very large bowl, combine all three types of cabbage, shredded carrots, cilantro, and green onions.
Add the chicken, mandarin oranges, toasted sesame seeds, and toasted almonds to the bowl. Toss to combine.
Drizzle salad with Asian sesame dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
I could not find any mandarin oranges in fruit juice, they only had them packed in a sugary syrup.
- I cheated and used packaged, shredded carrots…that’s why they look like long sticks and not little shreds.
- To cook my chicken: Pound the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap until they were an even thickness. Sprinkle both sides with Chinese Five-Spice and cook in a skillet with olive oil until cooked through (165° F.).
Yes, you can prepare the salad ingredients ahead of time and store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
However, it’s best to wait until you’re ready to serve before adding the dressing, almonds, and sesame seeds to maintain their crunch and flavor.
Absolutely, if you’re short on time, you can use your favorite store-bought Paleo Asian sesame or ginger dressing as a convenient alternative.
To toast almonds and sesame seeds, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 5-7 minutes, or until they turn golden and aromatic. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
If you would like to adjust the spiciness of the dressing, you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes or 1 to 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce.
Yes, using pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken is a great time-saver for this recipe. Simply shred the chicken and incorporate it into the salad.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. However, the freshness and crunchiness of the salad might diminish over time.
You can add or substitute vegetables based on what you have on hand or your personal preferences, like red bell pepper, Persian cucumbers, snap peas, creamy avocado chunks.
This Asian Sesame Chicken Salad is my go-to meal when I do not feel like cooking, I love it that much!
Scroll down past the recipe to see all of my friend’s cabbage recipes!
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
- 4 cups Napa cabbage chopped or shredded
- 4 cups green cabbage chopped or shredded
- 1 cup red cabbage chopped or shredded
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 0.5 cup chopped cilantro
- 5 green onions sliced
- 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
- 0.5 cup mandarin oranges in fruit juice, drained
- 0.5 cup sliced almonds toasted
- .25 cup toasted sesame seeds
Asian Orange-Ginger Dressing
- .75 cup light olive oil avocado or canola
- .25 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- .33 cup rice wine or balsamic vinegar
- 3 large cloves fresh garlic pressed or finely minced
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 0.5 cup coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce I used Red Boat
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
Orange Ginger Sesame Dressing
- Combine oil, orange juice, vinegar, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos, fish sauce, and sesame oil in a 1 pint glass mason jar.
- Secure the lid to the jar and shake to thoroughly combine ingredients. Set aside.
Sesame Asian Salad
- In a very large bowl, combine all three types of cabbage, shredded carrots, cilantro, and green onions.
- Add the chicken, toasted sesame seeds, and toasted almonds to the bowl. Toss to combine.
- Drizzle salad with Asian sesame dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to one week. Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days
- I cheated and used packaged, shredded carrots.
- To cook my chicken: Pound the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap until they were an even thickness. Sprinkle both sides with Chinese Five-Spice and cook in a skillet with olive oil until cooked through.
- Pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken works really well in this salad as well if you are looking for an even faster meal.
- If you know that you will have leftovers, serve the dressing on the side and store the leftover salad in an airtight container or zipper-top bag.
- See recipe post for full list of modifications and FAQs.
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