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May 9, 2010 09:32 AM

Info on Chinese Chicken Salad

Absolutely love Chinese Chicken salad which is prevalent on the West Coast.

Some chains serve Chinese Chicken Salad (i.e., California Pizza Kitchen) and was curious if CH'ers know of any other restaurants in Boston that do a good version or sell do it yourself "kits."

Many thanks!

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  1. Well, there are CPK's in Boston if that's what you like. What exactly is a Chinese chicken salad? Sounds like that ubiquitous but mysterious Asian dressing I keep reading about.

    1. supposedly Cheesecake Factory has it (but I have not tried it)

      10 Replies
      1. re: barleywino

        Thanks...I am seeking a non-chain version if possible - Chinese Chicken Salad is a west coast specialty that is served at most places that serve salad.

        1. re: CambridgeFoodie

          But...what is different about it, exactly?

          1. re: CambridgeFoodie

            The thing is, if it's a west-coast specialty, since there aren't any independent restaurants in Boston that specialize in west-coast style cooking, I don't think you're likely to find it around here except at chains.

            1. re: CambridgeFoodie

              Is it very different from generic Asian Chicken Salad? I imagine pulled chicken meat, green lettuce and a sesame ginger soy vinegrette dressing not unlike you find at japanese markets. Finished with cilantro and maybe some scallions. I doubt there is any standard recipe. It's gotta be dead simple to make.

              I would think dark meat would be better as it would complement the sesame flavor better.

              But what is the version like on the West Coast?

              1. re: tatsu

                I think the West Coast version (which is also the East Coast version anywhere I see it) usually consists of greens, mandarin oranges, sliced almonds, some sort of fried noodle (chow mein or the like, or sometimes fried bean thread noodles), a sesame ginger soy vinaigrette, sliced grilled white meat chicken, and sometimes bamboo shoots or snap peas or other similar veggies. I have never found it a hard thing to find. Most lunch places with a traditional lunch menu (sandwiches and salads kind of places) tend to have it. I think the various Tavern on the Squares do. The only place I have had it recently was Boloco.

                1. re: hckybg

                  That sounds like your "basic" Asian Chicken Salad. A serious PF Chang car crash to me, a Salad Nicose with case of Yellow Fever... A few canned baby corn ears and you're good to go!

                  So my (Japanese) mom used to do it very simply in the summer pretty much like I wrote above. I don't recall noodles. We might of even just marinated leftover chicken in a mirin/rice vinegar/sesame oil/sugar/soyu sauce in the fridge overnight and had them for sandwiches the next day. I wonder how that would work for leftover Thanksgiving Turkey, probably not bad since Turkey is kinda dry.

                  1. re: tatsu

                    Ha, a very good, oddly comforting car crash. Unfortunately this is a dish that has been coopted by big chains and stripped of some of its character, though it is still usually a safe bet almost anywhere as long as the ingredients are decent. I did learn in the LA issue of Saveur a couple months ago, though, that it has a longstanding pedigree in the land of palm trees and a history of its own. Their online recipe only alludes to it, but I seem to recall that the actual magazine went on quite a bit longer:

                  1. re: alanbarnes

                    ha ha ha i was thinking about Cho the entire time! she's the best!

              2. I posted a recipe for an excellent version (if I do say so myself) on Home Cooking yesterday.

                2 Replies
                1. Srsly, Cheesecake factory... run don't walk.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    SG, I was actually asking a serious question about a dish that I like.

                    1. re: CambridgeFoodie

                      although something of a misnomer, it's actually not bad for a salad

                  2. I was at Globe on Boylston St. yesterday and noticed that they had a Chinese Chicken Salad on their menu. I didn't order it so I can't tell you how it is, but just thought I would mention here that they serve it.