April 13, 2012

Mandarin Chicken Salad

Mandarin chicken salad

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Asia a few times now, and while I love experiencing the incredible and diverse food Asia has to offer, one of the things I always find myself missing is a fresh, crisp salad. A lot of vegetables over there are cooked, and sometimes you can’t trust the fresh ones because they may have been washed in tap water. Towards the end of my trips, I actually start dreaming about raw vegetables and would give up all the amazing food there just to have one bowl of refreshing salad!

So the first thing I did when I got home from my most recent trip was to make myself a giant bowl of salad! I wanted to make something with Asian ingredients though, and realized it was the perfect time to try a salad recipe I’d had bookmarked for a year but kept forgetting to make: this mandarin chicken salad from Munchin with Munchkin. While it looked like a lot of ingredients to buy, I actually had all the ingredients for the dressing already, and I didn't mind buying the vegetables because I knew I'd eat whatever was leftover as a snack, so it was money well spent!

I changed quite a few little things with the recipe in order to suit my tastes (and based on what ingredients I had on hand), so be sure to check out the original recipe too so that you can also adjust the ingredients to your tastes! You should also check out the rest of Kris’ amazing blog while you’re there – it was just voted the Best Recipe Blog in The Kitchn’s Homies awards!
This salad was so fresh and flavorful and exactly what I was craving after my trip. I loved how the sweet mandarins were balanced by all the crunchy vegetables, and the sweet and sour vinaigrette gave it the Asian flavour I was still desiring. I have a feeling I’ll be craving this salad a lot more now that I know how much I love it!

Mandarin chicken salad
Mandarin Chicken Salad

Adapted from Munchin with Munchkin

Serves 2


For the Dressing:
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (optional for a bit of spice)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon sweet Thai chili sauce 
Dash of salt

For the Salad:
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded into small pieces (I cooked mine in sesame oil)
2 cups lettuce
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup snow peas
1/4 cup shelled edamame, cooked as per package directions
2-3 mandarins, segmented
2 tablespoons ground peanuts (ground in a food processor)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds


In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust any amounts to your liking. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients, toss with dressing, and divide salad between two plates/bowls, with the peanuts and sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

- Next time I might eliminate the carrots and snow peas and increase the mandarins. Choose ingredients and amounts to your own taste!
- Optional additional toppings may include green onions, cilantro, and chow mein noodles


  1. This dressing sounds amazing. I think I'll put it on everything. *hehe*

  2. This is perfect for the warm weather...Light, complete and pretty too!

  3. I start to crave salad whenever I go on vacation ANYWHERE. Somehow going away always means eating seriously heavy food. Constantly. T his sounds majorly delicious! I love the dressing.

  4.  That's very true!  I definitely think the excessive amount of food I was eating, and probably the hot weather too, also contributed to my salad cravings!

  5. Thanks, I always love eating salads when the weather starts getting warmer!

  6. It was really good!  Quite a few ingredients but it was worth it!

  7. You are such a sweetheart Natalie! Your compliments are making me blush. You have a wonderful blog going here. There are so many great sounding recipes in your index, I don't know where to start. Your mango banana bread is calling my name. :)

  8. Looks good! I make a very similar salad, but I add avocado to mine. I also like to grill the chicken with garlic and ginger first. I also use a little toasted sesame oil. I miss fresh vegetables when I am travelling is Asia too!

  9. Aw, thank you so  much, I'm so happy you stopped by!  And thanks again for the recipe too, it was delicious!   I have lots more I want to try from your blog :)

  10. I have a bit of a weakness for mandarin oranges. I love how sweet they are! Our grocery store has been selling big bags of them for super cheap all winter long--I'm going to have to see if they still have them next time I go and use them to make this salad (minus chicken!). :D

  11.  I think this was the first time I've bought mandarin oranges and I was surprised at how sweet they are .. I don't really like eating regular oranges but these ones are delicious!


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