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.  It’s such a refreshing main course salad. I knew I was onto something when my friends asked for seconds.  Seconds on a salad?  You can enjoy every skinny bite at 329 calories and 10 grams of fat (including the dressing)  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 breast, cooked

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

1 cup La Choy rice noodles or chow mein noodles

1½ tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


1. Prepare the Shanghai Vinaigrette and refrigerate.

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

4. When ready to serve, toss with enough dressing to coat, about ½ cup.  Serve in small Chinese cartons with chopsticks or on plates.  Sprinkle top of each salad with some rice noodles.

Serves 4

Shanghai Vinaigrette

I created this dark, rich, and creamy, with a bit of a bite, Asian-style vinaigrette to serve with this recipe. It tastes delish on any Chinese salad. Great news… This dressing contains only 81 calories and 5 grams of fat for 2 tablespoons.  It’s high-fat counterpart has twice the calories, 164 and over three times the fat, 14 grams for the same two tablespoons. 

Prep Time: 5 minutes


½ cup Nancy’s Skinny Ranch Dressing

⅓ cup hoisin sauce

¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon chopped or crushed ginger (in a jar)

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

½ teaspoon dry mustard


1. In a medium bowl add all 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 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.  Both 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 can find it in the produce department near, garlic in a jar.

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving including dressing
329 calories, 10g fat, 26g protein, 37g carbs, 2g fiber, 773mg sodium, 8g 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!