Crispy Noodle Salad is an Asian-style coleslaw with crunchy noodles, colorful vegetables, and chicken. It is also known as Chinese chicken salad. The sweet and savory peanut butter dressing takes this noodle salad up a notch and makes it an absolute favorite Asian side dish. Try it to believe my words!
There are a few key elements that build a fantastic crispy noodle salad. If you get each of these basics right, you will never go back to the restaurant for this crispy coleslaw cum salad.
The Flavorsome Chicken
Coleslaw Style Veggies
Peanut Butter Dressing
The Crispy Noodles
In some places, you easily get ready-made fried noodle packets in Asian supermarkets or grocery stores at a very reasonable price.
But if you are in a place like me, where you don’t get ready-made fried noodles, make them at home.
You can fry boiled noodles in hot oil on a stovetop or you can air-fry them. I have tried both the cooking methods and my BIG THUMBS UP is for air fryer crispy noodles. Because there is less oil wastage, fewer calories, and the same crunch.
The best part is these homemade crispy noodles you can store for 10 – 15 days. Use them as crunchy toppings for soup, stews, or even curries. I often make Indian-Chinese Style Noodle Salad (Bhel Puri) with crispy noodles or add them as a topping on my Chinese Sweet Corn Soup.
How To Make Crispy Noodles At Home:
Step 1) Use regular Hakka or Egg Noodles for frying. In one instance, I have used spaghetti as well to make fried noodles.
Step 2) Next, boil the noodles al dente in salted water. Once fully cooked, drain the water of the noodles. Rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. Let them sit in a colander for 15 – 20 minutes to dry completely.
Step 3) Spread noodles on a wire basket or baking sheet. Allow them to dry completely for the next 30 minutes. This step will save a lot of cooking time.
Step 4) Coat the dry noodles with a tablespoon or so of cornstarch for extra dryness. Transfer them to a sieve and dust the extra flour.
Step 5) At this stage, you can either deep-fry the noodles in hot oil on a stovetop. Or you can air fry them.
This Asian coleslaw is always a riot of colors. From purple cabbage, Chinese cabbage, bell peppers, to carrot, onion, and greens, you can add any sort of crunchy vegetables to this Asian salad.
Try to use vegetables that have a natural crunch to them. Stay away from veggies that get soft or wilted too quickly.
The Flavorsome Chicken
From the shredded grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, to leftover barbecue chicken or stir fry Asian chicken, you can use any of these in this crispy noodle salad.
If none of these are available, then follow my method to quickly stir fry chicken for the salad.
Step 1) Take bite-size boneless, skinless chicken pieces. You can cut them into then strips as well.
Step 2) Marinade the chicken pieces in – ginger – garlic paste, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. This marination you can do as part of your weekly meal prep.
Step 3) Heat cooking oil in a wok or stir fry pan. Add the marinated chicken pieces and stir fry over high heat till the chicken turns pale white in color and is fully cooked. Transfer it to a plate and allow it to cool before adding to the crispy noodle salad.
Peanut Butter Dressing
The soul of this Asian salad is the sweet, spicy, and savory peanut butter dressing. It is one of my favorite dressing recipes cum dipping sauce.
The addition of creamy peanut butter gives so much flavor to the dressing and makes sit real quick.
If you want a real flavorsome crispy noodle salad never ever compromise on the dressing.
Meal-Prep For Chinese Chicken Salad:
Marinade the chicken in advance during your weekly meal prep. Store in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature before stir-frying for salad.
If you making crispy noodles at home, you can fry a large batch and store it for the next 10 – 15 days. Or simply use the readymade fried noodles.
Cut the vegetables especially cabbages and store them in an airtight container for a week. They do not lose their crunch or texture.
The peanut butter salad dressing also can be whipped up in advance and store in the fridge. Shake it well before using it for the flavors to combine nicely.
More Salad Recipes For You
If you try this recipe and love it, please leave a Star Rating. This helps us grow and reach many other food lovers like you, who are looking for a perfect tried and tested recipe.
Crispy Noodle Salad Recipe
Ingredients For Salad:
- 1 Cup crispy fried noodles (see recipe note 1)
- 1 Cup shredded chicken (see recipe note 2)
- ½ Cup finely shredded purple cabbage
- ½ Cup finely shredded cabbage
- ½ Cup finely julienned carrot
- ½ Cup red/yellow julienned bell peppers
- ½ Cup finely julienned capsicum
- ¼ Cup chopped cilantro or parlsey or spring onion
Ingredients For Dressing:
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil or virgin olive oil
- Juice of one lemon
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon crushed or finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper or to taste
Prepare Salad Dressing:
- Combine all the ingredients for dressing in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Close the jar with the lid. Shake vigorously to emulsify the oil with the peanut butter and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Combine all the vegetables in a salad mixing bowl.
- Pour dressing over the salad. Add shredded chicken, crispy noodles, and mix nicely to coat the vegetables with the dressing.
- Serve crispy noodle salad immediately else fried noodles will turn soggy. Or add crispy noodles just before serving.