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Crispy Noodle + Red Cabbage Chicken Salad

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

This craveable, satisfying, simple homemade version of a chain restaurant staple (aka Chinese Chicken know what I mean) will thrill your whole family. Guaranteed. Warning - Make double dressing because you’ll want to put it on everything else all week too. Red cabbage will last for literally a month in the fridge, a great veggie staple for infrequent shopping!


  • 12 pound Chicken Breast (boneless/skinless)
  • 12 head Red Cabbage (if you can find a small one, possibly use the entire thing - looking for about 5 cups)
  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 package Ramen Noodles (the square, dry, package. Use flavor packet for pickling!)
  • 1 bunch Broccolini (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 114 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 3 Mandarin Orangess (easy peel is nice, or any orange you have)
  • 12 bunch Green Onion (but omit if you don't have these, optional)
  • 14 cup Almonds (sliced are traditional, but slivered are fine, and if you have whole, just chop them up)
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger (or use ½ teaspoon dried ginger, ok to omit also)
  • 1 clove Garlic (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 14 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 teaspoon White Sesame Seeds (optional)

Cooking Instructions

  • 2. CHICKEN

    Slice the chicken into 1” wide strips. Place the chicken breast in a medium pot and cover with water by half an inch. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over high heat, but once it starts bubbling, turn down to medium low. You want the water to be bubbling a bit but not enough to be shaking the chicken around, that will make it tough. Simmer for 15 minutes, moving the pieces occasionally and making sure they stay submerged.


    Cut the cabbage in half. Then in half again. Once you have quarters, you can use your knife on an angle to remove the core at the bottom. Place each quarter face down and slice as thinly as you can across the grain into thin, short strips. Add to the biggest bowl you have.

    Cut the end off the romaine and cut the entire head in half lengthwise. Wash the leaves well and shake them dry. Lay flat and slice thinly into small strips. Add to the cabbage.


    On a baking sheet, place the ramen noodles. Crunch and crack them into smaller pieces. Slide to one side. Slice just the ends off the broccolini and discard (usually a quarter inch or less is necessary). Chop into 1 inch segments all the way. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil evenly over the noodles and broccolini. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt.

    Place in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove and let cool.


    Peel the oranges and separate the segments. Slice the green onions thinly. Measure the almonds. Thinly slice the carrots - or if you prefer, grate them on the large holes of a box grater.

    Add all of these to the bowl with the lettuce.


    In a blender, add 3 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1 Tablespoon honey, 1 Tablespoon sesame oil, 1 Tablespoon hoisin, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon ginger, and garlic. Blend to combine. Add the ¼ cup canola oil. Blend until emulsified.

    (If you only have a food processor, add everything except the vinegar, soy sauce, and oil first so it gets a chance to finely chop the garlic and ginger. Once chopped well, add the rest. You might want to whisk the oil by hand in a small bowl).

  • 7. FINISH

    Remove the chicken from the poaching water and set it on a clean work surface. Shred it, or chop into small cubes.

    Add to the lettuce. Add the broccoli and noodles. Toss with dressing to taste.

  • 8. SERVING

    Serve generously in big bowls. Sprinkle sesame seeds over top to garnish.

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  • PALEO:
    just sub out hoisin sauce and honey for a teaspoon of maple syrup or omit entirely. Consider increasing chicken portion. Omit noodles
  • NUTS:
    omit almonds if allergic, consider adding sunflower seeds or pepitas. If not allergic, cashews or peanuts are also wonderful!
    omit and add more lettuce, shredded kale is also great, green or savoy cabbage is also wonderful
    segments of navel or cara cara oranges. Traditional versions use canned mandarin slices. We also like slices asian or bartlett pears
    the toasted dried noodles are fun (and addictive) but you could cook the ramen if you prefer. You can omit them. Or you can buy the store bought fried ramen noodles in most grocery stores if you'd prefer
    use sunflower seeds if you don't have sesame
    steak, thinly sliced pork, shredded roast chicken, try sautéed ground chicken or turkey with a splash of dressing in the pan

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Separate out the kids' components based on what you think they’ll accept. Bigger kids can have a salad, small kids might prefer things more separated
  • Leave dressing on the side for “dipping” and you can leave some piece of cabbage and lettuce in large pieces for picking up

For Toddlers

  • Cook some of the ramen noodles in boiling water instead of serving crunchy raw
  • Consider leaving the almond off, they can be a choking hazard

For Choosy Eaters

  • Keep components very separate and arrange in rainbow order for fun

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make dressing
  2. Shred cabbage and store in an airtight container for up to 36 hours
  3. Cook and shred or dice chicken
Rate this recipe:
2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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