Classic Chinese Chicken Salad

By Jess

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Today I’m going to be sharing a fantastic recipe for a paleo Chinese salad. This salad is the perfect meal to grab and go for anyone who is rushed in the mornings but still wants to make sure they’re packing a healthy lunch. A common complaint about many types of salads is they just don’t contain enough protein. Rest assured, that’s definitely not the case with this recipe. This salad has plenty of protein provided by chicken breast strips that have been marinated to perfection, a great variety of fresh healthy veggies, and a wonderful homemade dressing that’s full of flavor.

chicken recipe

This Chinese salad recipe provides paleo lovers with everything they could ask for in a nutritious lunch. It’s got juicy chicken breasts marinated in honey and coconut aminos providing a solid amount of protein. It’s got a variety of fresh vegetables offering tons of vitamins and minerals. And it even has a delicious homemade dressing that definitely gives the salad plenty of flavor.

The Secret Is In the Marinade and Dressing

The very first thing to do when making this Chinese salad is to prepare your marinade. It only requires two simple ingredients — honey and coconut aminos. Combine them in a shallow dish and toss your chicken breasts in the mix. You are going to want to marinade them for a minimum of 30 minutes to really let the flavor soak in. Once the chicken has been properly marinaded, you’ll be frying it before adding it to the salad. Don’t worry, it’s all still going to remain completely paleo-friendly with the help of this trusty air-fryer. It’s well worth the investment in case you’re wondering, so if you’re interested in purchasing one, I highly recommend this Phillips model. I use it almost every week and it hasn’t failed me yet.

Mix Your Leafy Greens for More Variety in Texture and Nutrients

The salad itself is made with shredded Napa lettuce, iceberg lettuce, carrots, red cabbage, cilantro, and green onions. All of these vegetables contains an absolutely huge amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Studies have actually indicated that one of the best ways to gain the nutritional benefits provided by vegetables is to consume them raw and in salads. In fact, people who regularly ate salads were more likely to be getting adequate amounts of these essential nutrients. (1)

prepping sauce

prepping vegetables

No salad would be complete without a tasty dressing to go along with it. The dressing for this Chinese salad is incredibly easy to prepare. You’re going to need vinegar, tahini, ginger, chili flakes, salt, black pepper, olive oil, and some more honey and coconut aminos. Any paleo approved source of vinegar is fine to use, although I personally prefer to use apple cider vinegar. I find it to be tastier and it’s also demonstrated the potential ability to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. (2) Simply mix all of these ingredients together in a bowl and you’ve got a tasty salad dressing all set and ready to go.

marinating chicken

air frying chicken

Once you have your salad and dressing prepared, toss them together until they are well combined. Then simply top it all off with the slices of chicken breast and you’re good to go. This Chinese salad contains tons of protein and will leave you feeling full and energized for hours. Best of all, if you eat it for lunch, it won’t give you that post-lunch energy crash since it’s low in carbs while being chock full of vitamins and minerals. This is especially true if you used apple cider vinegar, which also helps keep blood sugar levels stable. (3) It’s the perfect lunch to keep you fueled up and working steadily through the second half of your workday.

paleo chinese salad

P.S. – If you’re looking for more great salad recipes that also provide you with plenty of protein, then you should check out these great paleo salads as well:



  • For the dressing
    • 2 tbsp vinegar
    • 1 tbsp tahini
    • ¼ tsp dried ginger
    • ½ chili flakes
    • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • For the marinade
    • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
    • 2 tbsp honey
  • The rest of ingredients
    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • ½ head Napa cabbage, shredded
    • ½ head iceberg lettuce, shredded
    • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
    • 2 carrots, shredded
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 2 green onions, sliced


  1. In a shallow dish combine the coconut aminos and honey. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Marinate for minimum 30 minutes.
  2. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Preheat a Philips air fryer to 360°F.
  4. Place the chicken in a single layer in the fry basket and insert into the air fryer.
  5. Cook for 12-15 minutes.
  6. Place the chicken on a plate and cover with foil until cool enough to slice into strips.
  7. In a large bowl add the shredded Napa cabbage, iceberg, red cabbage, cilantro and green onions. Toss to combine.
  8. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and black peeper.
  9. Divide the salad between serving plates, top with sliced chicken and serve.


Serving Size




P.S. Make sure to take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. It has over 470+ easy paleo recipes and free 10 week meal plan. Click here to view recipes.

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