Chinese Chick’n Salad.
As a kid I LOVED Chinese Chicken Salad, and after a ton of trial and error I’ve finally perfected a healthy, vegan version of it. This plant-based Chinese “Chick’n” Salad is not only super healthy and a great weight loss staple, it bursts with authentic Chinese Chicken Salad flavors.
Packed with Authentic Chinese Chicken Salad Flavors
This Chinese “Chick’n” Salad is simple yet packed with different flavors and textures. While it’s totally vegan, the authentic flavors we all know and love are still very much highlighted. The highlights include:
- Mandarin Oranges. I consider these the star of the dish because even with a small amount and they really stand out. I typically don’t like fruit in my salad, but these mandarin orange slices mixed with the miso ginger dressing burst with flavor. Mandarin oranges are essential in a Chinese “chick’n” salad!
- Edamame. I absolutely love edamame, and they are a great source of protein (along with the seitan “chick’n”) and soften the overall texture.
- Seitan “Chick’n”. I honestly was never a big fan of chicken, but I’ve gotta say this seitan is so flavorful and brings a necessary meaty texture to the salad. If you’re gluten-free, either forgo the “chick’n” or replace it with tofu or shredded jackfruit.
- Miso Ginger Dressing. These are all highlights, but the real star of the dish is this super flavorful dressing. The miso + ginger combo is one of my all time favorites and can go with so many other things – rice paper rolls, kelp noodles, kale salads, etc.
- Crunchy Noodles. Crunchy noodles are what make this salad for me – the carrots and cabbage give you some crunch, but I wanted something extra crispy to tie the salad together. They’re a bit of a pain to make in small batches, so I recommend making a big batch and using them throughout the week and for other recipes. Air fried or baked chickpeas work too, just make sure they’re SUPER crispy.
“Chick’n” Made from Seitan
It’s hard to find vegan meat alternatives that aren’t packed with chemicals or additives, so I figured I’d take a plain block of seitan and shred it to emulate plain, shredded chicken. I cut the seitan in super thin strips, seasoned it with salt and a touch of avocado oil, and put it in my AIR FRYER for 20 minutes giving them a shake halfway through. If you aren’t into meat alternatives, you can forgo it completely. If you are still looking for protein, add hemp seeds + ground flax into the dressing.
While this salad is simple, it has many different elements – I recommend this salad for meal prep or if you’re preparing a dish for multiple people. It’s a bit time consuming if you’re only preparing one serving.
Crispy Noodles that Enhance the Texture
I love these crispy noodles and they’re not difficult to prepare, but if you’re looking to throw together a quick salad on the spot you might want an alternative. I would recommend:
- Air fried or baked chickpeas. I prefer air fried because they require less oil and take less time.
- Sliced almonds. You can add these in raw (either buy pre-sliced or pulse them in the food processor for a few seconds) or toast them in your air fryer or oven.
- NO premade crispy noodles. Unless they have safe ingredients – most have palm oil which is a huge no.
Chinese “Chick’n” Salad
- 4 tbsp white or yellow miso paste
- 2 cloves garlic chopped into small pieces
- 2 tbsp pureed or thinly chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari
- 2 tbsp agave
- 8 oz seitan
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups chopped romaine shredded is best
- 1/2 cup shredded green cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 3/4 cup edamame
- 2 mandarin oranges peeled
- 2 stalks green onions, chopped
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds topping
- 1 package noodles make sure to buy thin noodles like chow mein or rice noodles
- 2.5 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp oat flour any flour works
- Simply mix all ingredients in a dish. This recipe makes 2 servings, so feel free to double or triple and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Drain and rinse the seitan and chop into thin slices doing your best to resemble shredded chicken. Add to a bowl and toss in oil and salt.
- Add to your pan and pan fry until golden. Stir every few minutes and keep on a medium heat.
- I used 1/3 per bowl and saved the rest in an airtight container in the fridge
- Cook noodles according to package, then set aside and pat dry - try to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Cut into 3-5 inch strips and add to a bowl. Toss with sesame oil and oat flour.
- Arrange in your air fryer or on a baking tray and bake at 375. You may have to do a few rounds to ensure the noodles aren’t too crowded on your tray.
- Check on the noodles every 10 minutes and give them a shake. the amount of time they stay in the air fryer (or oven) has varied for me - if you have an air fryer I would highly recommend using that as it’ll speed up the process. If you are baking them in the oven, be patient and don’t turn up the heat - that won’t make them cook faster, it’ll just burn the noodles.
- Once they’re super crispy, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
- Arrange all ingredients in a large bowl - I highly recommend doubling or tripling this recipe and storing the extra portions in the fridge for the week. This salad is PERFECT for meal prepping.
- When you’re ready to eat, serve 1/2 the salad ingredients with a handful of crunchy noodles, 1/3 of the seitan “chick’n”, and 1/2 of the dressing. Enjoy!