Keep your cool with this easy Asian Cabbage Salad with Chicken and Mandarin Oranges. It’s delicious as well as very make-ahead!
I confess, I’ve been a little lazy this summer. I’ve leaned on make-ahead salads quite a bit. And you know what? I’m not sorry one bit. They’ve tasted great! Plus, they’ve been easy to send to work with my husband or pack for picnics at the beach.
This Asian Cabbage Salad with Chicken and Mandarin Oranges is a favorite from my childhood. Back in the day, it was a staple at potlucks. There are many versions of this style salad out there, my favorite being from an old family friend named Cathy. Whenever she brought this salad to a potluck, you can be sure, I was first in line.
I haven’t made too many changes to Cathy’s original. Her salad base was a combination of romaine lettuce and green cabbage. I go with napa cabbage when I can because I like the ruffled leaves to hold the drops of dressing. Depending on sales, though, standard green cabbage and romaine can be more affordable substitutions.
To keep the cost of this down, I buy mandarin oranges and chow mein noodles when they are on sale. Cashews, cucumbers, and chicken are usually staples at our house. I’ve found the cheapest source for sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce to be Trader Joe’s. I generally have these ingredients on hand most of the time.
Fresh ginger is best bought just a knob at a time. Don’t feel bad about breaking off a smaller piece if your store sells large coral-looking blobs. You can store ginger in the freezer, too, to extend its shelf life.
This Asian Cabbage Salad is full of crunch, thanks to the cabbage, cucumbers, cashews, and chow mein noodles. That makes it perfect for potlucks since it won’t get soggy too quickly. The sweet oranges add the perfect contrast of sweet and tender.
The dressing is very low in fat and absolutely delicious. My husband says he could use this dressing every day, he loves it so much.
Asian Cabbage Salad with Chicken and Mandarin Oranges
- 1 head napa cabbage
- 2 cup chicken (cooked and shredded) can use Moo Shu Chicken
- 1 cucumber or several small ones, sliced
- 1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges in juice drained
- 1 bunch green onion chopped
- 2 cups crisp chow mein noodles
- 1/2 cup roasted and unsalted cashews
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- In a large serving bowl, combine the cabbage, chicken, cucumber, oranges, onions, chow mein noodles, cashews, and cilantro.
- In a small bowl or jar, combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Stir or shake well to combine. Dress the salad and serve.