Asian Orange Sesame Chicken Salad

August 1st, 2013 at 6:06 am

Even if summer didn’t bring with it the sandals and sunshine, the in-season fruit and farmers’ markets, the tufts of green grass and the scent of soil, the carefree vacationers and extra helpings of ice cream, the iced tea and spiralized zucchini, the orange-hued sunrises and fluffy thunderclouds—even if it didn’t bring all of these things, I would love summer for one perk and one perk only: salads.

I’m a year round town crier for salads, but we’re heading into the peak of salad season so I’m especially pumped. From kale slaw to mixed greens, I could eat salad for every meal…and sometimes I do! If there was a competition for eating one’s weight in leafy greens, I might just win.

This Asian Orange Sesame Chicken Salad is not to be missed. If you love the flavors of traditional Asian chicken salad, this is the recipe for you. I’m not much of an Asian food person, but this salad might be winning me over.

Salads epitomize “health food” in our minds, but all too often we load them up with junky dressings laden with artificial ingredients, preservatives, colorings, MSG, sugar, cheap oils, and who knows what else. Not so with this beauty. For the dressing I used a simple blend of coconut aminos (a great soy sauce substitute) and olive oil with some honey for sweetness and ginger, garlic, and orange zest for flavor. No junky ingredients in sight!

Peapods and cabbage—two of my very favorite vegetables—add crunch and snap to the salad. I love incorporating fresh veggies into my chicken salads to provide a boost of not only nutrients but also texture and color contrast. Food should be beautiful!

I enjoyed this chicken salad on its own for dinner one night, but you could certainly serve it with some steamed sweet potatoes for a heartier meal. Leftovers could even be reheated in a stir-fry with extra broccoli or cabbage the next day.

This Asian Orange Sesame Chicken Salad is climbing my list of favorites, mostly because it’s unique and different in flavor from food I usually make. Even my parents, who aren’t the biggest Asian food fans either, loved this salad.

I’m a bit shocked and even sad that it’s the first day of August today. Didn’t we just celebrate Memorial day last week? Can someone slow this train down? Pleeeaaase?

It’s weird how the older you get the faster time flies. I thought it would be the opposite, that time would bring wisdom and all that, and that I’d learn how to slow life down and savor life more. It’s not working out so well. Even though I don’t have what I would consider a “complicated” life, it seems that time never stops churning on, picking up pace as it gains momentum.

Make every day count, right?

So let’s enjoy what’s left of summer and savor salad season while it’s upon us!


Asian Orange Sesame Chicken Salad

Yield: Serves 4

Enjoy all the flavors of Asian chicken salad without soy, refined sugar, gluten, or grains. To make quick work of grating the ginger, garlic, and orange zest, use a handheld Microplane rasp grater.


For the salad:

3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage

2 carrots, peeled and shredded

1 cup thinly sliced scallions (green onions)

1 cup thinly sliced peapods

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

2 cups cooked chopped chicken

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons coconut aminos

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

Sea salt, to taste

For garnish:

Orange slices and scallions


In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, scallions, peapods, and sesame seeds. Toss to combine. Add the chicken and toss to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing except the sea salt. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Taste and add salt if desired.

Garnish servings of the salad with orange slices and scallions.


  1. This salad looks fabulous. I am especially excited about the ginger and orange in the dressing – yum!

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