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Copycat Crispy Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Asian chicken salad recipe inspired by Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad
Casey Barber
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

If you’ve ever been to a chain restaurant, you’ve probably seen a menu item for an  “Oriental Chicken Salad.” This long-running fan-favorite has inspired dozens of copycats, but we think this version reigns supreme. With chicken tenders served over crunchy greens and crispy chow mein noodles and tossed with  a tangy dressing, what’s not to love? While we’d never stop you from going out to eat, it’s nice to know that this beloved recipe can be whipped up at home in under 30 minutes. 

There are three components to making this salad: the chicken tenders, dressing, and greens. Start by dredging the chicken tenders in  flour, followed by beaten eggs and finally, more flour. This will give the chicken that signature crispy, crackly exterior. Start by frying the chicken in a pan until golden brown, then transfer to the oven to finish cooking.

While the chicken is baking, make the dressing. The dressing combines lemon juice, rice vinegar, sesame oil, canola oil and the secret ingredient, powdered sugar. While powdered sugar may be unexpected, it’s not to be missed. Layer the romaine, coleslaw, crispy chow mein noodles and almonds on a serving platter. Top with the crispy chicken and drizzle with the dressing to serve. 

Get Ingredients: If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it. 

Technique Tip: To make this salad come together even faster, the dressing can be made ahead of time and kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days until ready to use.  Layer the chicken, then almonds, then slaw and romaine in an airtight container. Keep the chow mein noodles and dressing separate until ready to serve so they don't get soggy.

Swap Option: You can use any salad greens you have on hand, like spinach, Asian mix or even kale. The same goes for the almonds — this recipe also works well with cashews, walnuts or pecans. If rice vinegar isn't available in your supermarket, use soy soy.


For the Crispy Chicken Tenders
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil, divided
For the Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • a splash of toasted sesame oil (optional)
For the Salad
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup bagged coleslaw mix or 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup crispy chow mein noodles
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
Fulfilled by


Make the Chicken:


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place a wire cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet.


In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper together. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the egg and buttermilk.


Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, then dip to fully coat in the egg mixture. Return the chicken to the flour for a final coat, patting the flour on generously.


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until the coating is browned and crunchy, adding more oil when you flip the chicken if needed.


Transfer the chicken breasts to the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 F.


Cool to room temperature before slicing.

Make the Dressing:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and vinegar. Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved.


Stream in the oil and whisk vigorously until the dressing thickens.

To Serve:

For each serving of salad, toss a large handful of romaine with about 1/4 cup shredded coleslaw. Top with 2 tablespoons chow mein noodles, 1 tablespoon almonds and 4 to 5 slices of chicken. Drizzle with dressing and serve.