Upgraded Chinese Chicken Salad

What’s an item that when on a menu, you almost always order it? For me, it’s a Chinese Chicken Salad. Perhaps not the fanciest item on the menu, but there is just something about the bold flavors and varying textures unique to the salad that I cannot get enough of. Plus, it seems no matter where I order it, each restaurant has put its own unique spin on it. Today, we’re putting our own twist on this classic dish to give you our Upgraded Chinese Chicken Salad. We whipped up our own zesty dressing, ditched the fried wonton noodles for a crunchy nut/seed “bark”, and given this dish a fresh facelift that will make it a perfect addition to your weekday meal lineup. 

Close-up of chicken salad with mandarin, edamame, and pepita-hemp bark.

Side note: We’re trying a new shortened up method of posting recipes with fewer step-by-step photos based on some recent feedback we received. Let us know what you think and if you’d like to see more recipes with the quick and dirty details (like shown below) or if you prefer the longer versions. We want YOU to get information in the way that works best for you!


2 cups mixed greens of choice (we’ve made this with romaine and a butter/radicchio mix)

1 cup dry slaw mix

2-3 oz grilled chicken

1/3 cup shelled fresh edamame

1/3 cup mandarin orange slices, in water, drained

Green onions, sliced


1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

3 tbsp walnut, almond, or other light flavored oil

1 tsp coconut aminos (can sub with liquid aminos or soy sauce)

2 tsp brown sugar

1 small garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced or few pinches of dried ginger

1 tsp white sesame seeds

Small pinch of salt

Pepita-Hemp “Bark”

1/2 cup each, sliced almonds, pepitas, and sunflower seeds

1/4 cup shelled hemp hearts (hempseeds)

1/8 tsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup 

1/2 tbsp honey

2 tsp walnut oil (can sub with oil of choice)


Add all dressing ingredients to a mason jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until sugar is dissolved and all ingredients are incorporated; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine nuts, seeds, salt, maple syrup, and oil. Stir until well combined and syrup is evenly coating mixture. Mixture should be lightly sticky but not oversaturated. If too “dry” add additional syrup one teaspoon at a time. Pour mixture onto a sheet pan lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper and using the back of a spatula, gently press mixture into a thin, even layer. Bake for 15 minutes. Almonds and hempseeds should have a very light golden color. Let cool on the counter or in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before breaking into “bark”. 

Add mixed greens and slaw mix to a serving bowl. Top with edamame, mandarins, and grilled chicken. Pour dressing over greens. Garnish with green onions and bark. Enjoy!

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