One of my favorite gourmet salads is Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois Salad – a classic Chinese chicken salad that blows all fast food imitators out of the water. Our Copycat Chinois Salad recipe stays true to it’s gourmet roots with a delicious homemade vinaigrette and a fresh, flavorful mix of fruit and veggies topped with crunchy sesame seeds and fried wonton ribbons.
I’ve had variations of this salad over the years but by far the best was at Wolfgang Puck Express at Disney Springs. It had a simple description (“cabbage, romaine, baby greens, pickled ginger, cashews, crispy wontons, ginger-sesame vinaigrette”) but I wanted a salad to balance out the pizza and pasta we were also ordering – and I’m so glad I picked this one!
This Chinese Chicken salad is the perfect blend of sweet and umami, with crunchy nuts and vegetables and juicy oranges or mangoes giving little bursts of sweetness throughout. There are a few Chinese ingredients that you may need to purchase specifically for this recipe but they will all last for a long time – or you can find some other delicious recipes to use them up! I use rice wine vinegar in so much of my cooking!
Adding chicken takes this dish from a starter or side dish to a full meal. If storing your salad in the fridge, I like to keep the cooked chicken separate from the vegetables and marinate it in a bit of the vinaigrette.
You can make this allergen-free by swapping out the peanut oil for an extra virgin olive oil and leave out the sesame seed paste, sesame seeds and almonds/cashews. There will be a slight taste difference with these adaptions.
You can also make this Copycat Chinois Salad with fried wontons or uncooked ramen as a garnish. Fried wontons are a bit more work but worth it in my opinion.
Ingredients for Copycat Wolfgang Puck Chinese Chicken Salad
For the vinaigrette:
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup Chinese Mustard (or dijon)
- 1 egg yolk, optional
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon sesame paste
- 2 Tablespoons pickled ginger, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon chili oil
- ¾ cup peanut oil
For the Salad:
- 1 medium mango or 2 small mandarins, segmented
- 1 small Napa cabbage (approx 5 cups)
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 head radicchio
- 4 cups mixed greens or watercress
- 3 lb. cooked skinless chicken breast
- 2 cups fried wontons (see note) OR uncooked ramen
- 1/4 cup silvered almonds or cashews
- 2 Tablespoon Toasted sesame seeds
Tip: this vinaigrette makes enough for 12-15 salads. Leave out the egg yolk if it makes you squeamish.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- High-powered smoothie-style blender
- Large salad bowl
- Sharp kitchen knife <– this is the set I use
- Vegetable shredder or mandolin
- Mason jar or dressing container
- Measuring cups and spoons
How to Make an Easy Chinois Salad
Note: to prepare the 2 cups crisp fried wontons, fill a small pot with peanut oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the wontons in 1/2 cup increments, trying to avoid them touching or sticking together. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate. You can use uncooked ramen but I prefer the fried wontons.
Combine the soy sauce, rice wine, mustard, egg yolk, honey, sesame paste, ginger, salt, pepper and chili oil in blender. Add half of the peanut oil, taste and adjust as needed.
Set dressing aside as you prep the fruit and vegetables.
Chop the mango and chicken. Thinly slice the cabbage and raddicio. I like to use a Y-shaped vegetable shredder for the carrots, but you can use a spiralizer or mandolin.
Place all vegetables, fruit and chicken in a large salad bowl. Add 1/2 of the vinaigrette and taste, adding more as needed.
Serve the salad with the sesame seeds, silvered almonds and fried wontons in separate bowls.
Makes 6 lunch-sized portions.
Grab your free printable for our Copycat Chinois Salad:
For the Salad:
What is your favorite indulgent salad recipe? Is there a restaurant salad you’d love to see us recreate?