The Chinese Chicken Salad

What better way to welcome the warm weather than with a fresh Chinese chicken salad? Marin’s link to this perennial favorite is Belvedere resident and former Mandarin restaurant owner Cecilia Chiang (whom Alice Waters calls the Julia Child of Chinese cooking and whose son is the founder of the P. F. Chang’s China Bistro chain). Chiang has been quoted in the Marin Independent Journal as declaring that she invented Chinese chicken salad to use up the leftover lettuce from minced squab in lettuce cups. Chiang went on later to say, “Americans love crunch.”





Glen Miwa
Comforts Cafe,
San Anselmo
Kitti Suthipipat
Kitti’s Place, Sausalito
Norman Louie
Harmony Restaurant,
Mill Valley
“The recipe is from my
mother and goes way back to the ‘60s. It’s basic but I think the difference is in marinating the chicken overnight first in our secret sauce and then broiling the breasts to get a nice caramelized surface….and not too much sesame oil in the dressing.”
“I was the head chef at Comforts in San Anselmo for many years, until our family opened our own restaurant in Sausalito. We cut our lettuce daily, and grill the chicken breast everyday. Our salad is a little different because we add rice noodles and crispy egg noodles, and our dressing has sweet chili sauce in it.” "The secret to a great Chinese chicken salad is to use Chinese mustard paste on the chicken and then add scallions,
cilantro, crushed almonds, toasted sesame seeds and
cashews to the lettuce. Then serve the salad immediately.”