Chinese Chicken Salad with Crispy Noodles

, from Issue #25. September, 2015
Photography by Vanessa Wu.
Chinese Chicken Salad with Crispy Noodles

‘Velveting’ is a process used to produce incredibly succulent chicken, prawns or beef. The Shaoxing wine adds extra flavour to the chicken.

Serves: 4-6


500 grams boneless chicken breasts, skin off
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon Shaoxing , Chinese cooking wine, or sherry
1 free-range egg white
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

juice of 2 large limes
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon caster sugar
3 tablespoons peanut oil

1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1⁄2 telegraph cucumber, halved and thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 cups very fresh bean sprouts
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup mint or coriander, roughly chopped
1⁄2 red capsicum, very thinly sliced
1 small cos lettuce, thinly sliced
2 cups purchased crispy noodles


Chicken: Slice the chicken thinly. Combine the cornflour and Shaoxing in a medium bowl to make a smooth paste. Using a fork, stir in the egg white and salt. You don’t want a big foamy mixture. Add the chicken and turn to coat well. Cover andrefrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to the boil with 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop up the chicken, letting any excess egg white drip back into the bowl. Add all the chicken to the boiling water and stir to separate the pieces. Bring the water back to the boil. There will be a lot of excess cooked egg white in the pot. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl of iced water. Leave for 2-3 minutes then drain well and tip onto kitchen towels to soak up any excess water. Transfer to a large bowl.

Dressing: Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken, stirring to combine. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad.

To serve: Place all the salad ingredients on top of the chicken and turn gently to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Shaoxing rice wine: China’s most famous rice wine is derived from glutinous rice and has a soft, rich flavour and is enjoyed like a fine sherry, although wine specified for cooking is rather harsh in comparison. The flavour enriches braised dishes and marinades. Available from Asian grocery stores.