Chinese Chicken Salad With Peanut-Sesame Dressing

Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 40 mins

Cold shredded chicken in a peanut-sesame dressing is a common component of the exquisitely arranged cold appetizer platters served at Chinese banquets. This salad is as popular among Westerners as it is with the Chinese, and many variations of it are offered in casual dining spots throughout the West. From Joyce Jue, "Far East Cafe: The Best of Casual Asian Cooking".

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 large whole chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 lb fresh Chinese egg noodles
  • 1 12 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds or 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 14 cup finely-julienned red bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely-julienned peeled carrot
  • 12 cup fresh cilantro leaves (fresh coriander)
  • 1 small cucumber, cut into 2-inch julienne

  • 2 teaspoons peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons asian sesame paste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 13 cup dark soy sauce
  • 13 cup Chinese red vinegar or 13 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 12 teaspoon chili oil (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 14 cup chopped green onion (spring)
  • 14 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts


  1. Fill a large saucepan three-fourths full with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the chicken breasts and return to a boil, skimming off any scum that forms on the surface, then immediately reduce the heat to low.
  3. Simmer, uncovered, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Drain and let cool.
  5. Remove the skin from the chicken breasts, bone the breasts and hand shred the meat with the grain into strips about 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches long.
  6. Refill the large saucepan three-fourths full with water.
  7. Bring to a boil over high heat and add the salt.
  8. Gently pull the strands of noodles apart, then drop them into the boiling water, stirring to separate the strands.
  9. When the water comes to a second boil, boil for 1 minute longer.
  10. Pour the noodles into a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold running water.
  11. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl.
  12. Toss with the peanut oil to keep the noodles from sticking together.
  13. Set aside.
  14. If using white sesame seeds, toast them in a small, dry frying pan over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  15. If using black sesame seeds, leave them untoasted.
  16. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, bell pepper, carrot, cilantro and toasted or raw sesame seeds.
  17. Arrange the cooked noodles in a wide shallow bowl.
  18. Scatter the cucumber over the noodles and top with the chicken mixture.
  19. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  20. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, sesame paste, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the peanut or corn oil, sesame oil and chili oil.
  21. When hot, add the garlic, ginger and green onion; saute gently until fragrant but not browned, about 15 seconds.
  22. Stir in the peanut butter-sesame paste mixture and cook until the mixture begins to form a light syrup, about 1 minute.
  23. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm.
  24. Pour the warm dressing over the chicken salad and sprinkle with the peanuts.
  25. Serve immediately.
Most Helpful

We really enjoyed this salad -- it is light enough to be a lunch salad and equally filling for dinner entree. Loved all the ingredients; although DH pushed aside his carrots. : ) The dressing is wonderful and we loved the crunchy texture from all the veggies and peanuts. Will definitely make this again. Made for Culinary Quest, 2014 - China.

Nancy's Pantry September 09, 2014