Fabulous and Skinny, Shanghai Chicken Salad


If you’re a Chinese chicken salad lover, you’ll surely become a fan of this unconventional one. Crunchy vegetables, tender chicken all tossed in a tangy homemade Shanghai vinaigrette. I  knew I was onto something when everyone wanted seconds. Seconds on a salad?  You can enjoy every skinny bite at 287 calories, 9 grams of fat including the dressing and 8 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. A regular recipe has 587 calories and three times the fat at 31 grams. This salad can be prepared earlier in the day and dressed before serving.

Prep Time: 20 minutes, including the dressing


1 recipe for Shanghai Vinaigrette, see below

3 cups (12 oz) boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cooked, see shopping tip

1 head (8 cups) Napa cabbage, sliced into strips

1 cup red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced

1 cup carrots, shredded

1 cup scallions (green onion), thinly sliced

½ cup La Choy rice noodles or chow mein noodles


1. Prepare the Shanghai Vinaigrette below and refrigerate.

2. Cut the cooked chicken breasts into bite-size pieces.  Transfer chicken to an extra large bowl.  Add the cabbage, red pepper, carrots, and scallions.  Refrigerate.

3. When ready to serve, toss with enough dressing to coat, about ½ cup.  You’ll have leftover dressing. Divide salad among 4 plates.  Sprinkle the top of each salad with 2 tablespoons rice noodles.

Makes 4 main course salads (each salad about 3½ cups)

Shanghai Vinaigrette

I created this dark, rich and creamy, with a bit of a bite, Asian style vinaigrette to serve on this chicken salad.  but it taste delicious on any Chinese salad or as a dip for veggies.  Great news, this dressings contains only 81 calories and 4.6 grams of fat for two tablespoons. It’s high fat counter-part has twice the calories, 164 and over three times the fat, 14 grams for the same two tablespoons.


½ cup Skinny Ranch Dressing or store bought reduced-fat ranch dressing

⅓ cup hoisin sauce

¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon crushed ginger (in a jar)

1 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

½ teaspoon dry mustard


1. In a medium bowl add all the ingredients and whisk together.

2. Pour into an airtight container and store in the fridge.

3. Shanghai Vinaigrette will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.

Makes 1¼ cups

Food Facts

Napa cabbage is also called Chinese white cabbage.  It’s related to the beet family, growing to a height of two feet.

Hoisin, also called Peking sauce, is a thick reddish-brown sauce that’s both sweet and spicy.  It’s a mixture of soybeans, garlic, chili peppers, and various spices.

Healthy Benefits

Napa cabbage has virtually no calories or fat.  It contains a good supply of calcium, fiber, iron, vitamin A, folate,

Chicken breasts are a good source of lean protein and B vitamins.

Shopping Tips

La Choy rice noodles are available in a can.  There are several brands of crispy chow mein noodles available.  All can be found in the Asian section of the supermarket.

Hoisin sauce, reduced-sodium soy sauce and toasted sesame oil can all be found in the Asian section of your supermarket.

For time and convenience, I like ginger in a jar. I always keep a jar in the refrigerator and add it to many Asian dishes.  You’ll find it in the produce department near the garlic, in a jar.

Trader Joe’s sells delicious (12 oz) packages of cook chicken breasts.  I love their teriyaki flavored chicken for this recipe or use any cook chicken breast.

Weight Watchers
(old points) 6
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 salad including dressing (each salad about 3½ cups)
287 calories, 9g fat, 39g protein, 16g carbs, 2g fiber, 562mg sodium, 5g sugar
FAT FACTS: for 1 serving including dressing
587 calories, 31g fat, 38g protein,39g carbs, 3g fiber, 780mg sodium, 5g sugar

If you make this recipe, let me know how you liked it. Leave me a comment below or give it a rating. Thanks so much. Happy Skinny Cooking!