There are just certain flavor combinations that I will gravitate to over and over again. This Chicken and Cabbage Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette contains some of my favorites, with contrasts in texture and flavor that make it such a winning combination of ingredients. This meal is perfect for summer evenings and lends itself well to meal prep for busy school weeknights.
Ingredients and Preparation
The dressing for this salad is simple, with fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, and a neutral oil. Shake it together and you already have great salty-sweey-sour-umami flavors going. Now you can pile on the veggies, with crunchy green cabbage, carrots, and cucumber. Adding in herbs like cilantro and mint give the salad a floral and fresh quality that makes it sing. Toss it all together with some shredded rotisserie chicken, top it with crushed peanuts and fried onions, and your flavor-packed meal is done in way under 30 minutes. Do you use those crunchy French-fried onions for recipes other than the green bean casserole? I do! They are great for adding crunch and savory flavor. If you can find crispy fried shallots at you local Asian market, try to use those here. They are stronger in flavor, but very tasty.
I like to keep the shapes of my vegetables consistent with the shredded cabbage, so I cut the carrots and cucumber into thin julienne strips. Follow the example I used last week in the Greek Salad Dip for the easiest way to break down the cucumber and carrot this way. I also try to shred the chicken instead of chopping it for the same reason. These seem like picky suggestions but I think they make all the difference it getting perfect forkfuls!
Serving and Storage for Chicken and Cabbage Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette
This meal is great for meal prep ahead of time. Shake the dressing up in a jar and store it, covered, in the refrigerator. As long as you keep things separate, you can cut up the vegetables ahead of time and shred the chicken as well. I would leave the herbs and garnish until the moments before serving, but you could easily have dinner on the table in 10 minutes with these make-ahead steps.
When I serve this meal to the family I keep it a DIY situation with all of the options on a platter so the kids can choose their own mix. If I were serving this at a dinner party I’d just go ahead and combine everything together at once. The cabbage will hold up well with the dressing so it won’t be soggy before guests get to dig in. Simply reserve the herbs and garnish for last-minute additions! If you think you'll have leftovers, store the vegetables, chicken, and dressing separately for no more than a few days.
Try it and Share
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Chicken and Cabbage Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup neutral oil (canola or vegetable oil work well)
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 2 medium carrots, shredded or julienne (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium cucumber, julienne sliced
- 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded (use rotisserie chicken)
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves (plus extra for garnish)
- ¼ cup mint leaves (plus extra for garnish)
- ¼ cup crushed or chopped peanuts (plus extra for garnish)
- ¼ cup french friend onions or fried shallots (plus extra for garnish)
- Add all of the dressiing ingredients to a lidded jar and shake to combine.
- Arrange salad ingredients on a platter for a DIY-type presentation. Or...
- Toss all ingredients (reserving herbs, peanuts, and onions for garnish) in a large bowl and add dressing to coat.
- Garnish with aditional herbs, peanuts, and onions and serve.
Nutrition facts are sometimes provided below and are calculated using an online calculator. With specific brands of ingredients and additions, omissions, or substitutions the nutrition facts may change. We encourage you to use your own nutrition facts caculator to obtain the most accurate nutrition facts for your meal.