There are many types of chicken salads around the world. Koreans have a chicken salad called Dak-nangchae (닭 냉채). 

This salad is eaten during the hot summer months to reestablish one's appetite that has been lost due to the extreme hot summer weather in Korea. (As you know, the summer in Korea is brutally hot and humid.)

First, the chicken breast is poached in simmering water to make it very tender and soft. Then the chicken is tossed in a tangy and slightly sweet sesame mustard dressing with various crisp vegetables. The authentic way of making this salad requires dried red ginseng and Korean mustard, but sometimes those items are not easy to find. So I would like to share an adapted recipe that you can make with the items you might already have in your kitchen. If you want to see the authentic recipe, please visit Korean Chicken Salad in my Beyond Kimchee blog.

This Korean chicken salad is beautiful to behold, and even more beautiful to taste. It is perfect for parties and gatherings since it travels well. It is also quite simple to make. I will show you how easily you can make this beautiful salad.

First, poach your chicken breast in simmering water with garlic and a stick of celery over low heat for about 30 minutes. Take the breast out and shred it into thin pieces. Set aside.

While the chicken is poaching, crush the toasted sesame seeds in a mortar.

Let's make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine Dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, and salt. Add half of the freshly ground sesame seeds and mix well.

Toss the chicken with about 1/3 of the dressing.

Now, time to let your knife shine slicing the crisp salad vegetables! Thinly slice the cabbage, cucumber, onion, and the red and yellow bell peppers (or any vegetables of your choice). Try to slice them as thin as humanly possible.

Place each salad vegetables on a large platter in a decorative and pleasing way.

Put the chicken in the center and serve with extra dressing on the side to drizzle over. Sprinkle the remaining half of the freshly crushed sesame seeds on top of the chicken.

To serve, drizzle the rest of the dressing on the salad and toss well before you serve on individual plates. Or, have your guest to take their preferred portion on their own plate, then drizzle the dressing over it. Either way works, but you will need to serve immediately once the salad is tossed with the dressing.

This is a great low-carb, low-calorie, low-fat salad that is full in flavor. Hope you enjoy!

BK-Lg signature

Korean Chicken Salad ( Dak-Nangchae)

serves 4


  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 stick celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 red cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced diagonally

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Poach the chicken breast with celery and garlic in simmering water over low heat for 30 minutes. Shred the chicken breast into thin strips.
  2. Meanwhile, crush the sesame seeds in a mortar. Set a side.
  3. To make the dressing, combine 1 tablespoon of crushed sesame seeds with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Whisk well.
  4. Toss the chicken with the 1/3 of the dressing and mix well.
  5. On a platter, place the prepared salad vegetables around and place the chicken in a center. Sprinkle the remaining half of the crushed sesame seeds on top of chicken.
  6. To serve, drizzle the rest of the dressing over the salad and toss well. Serve immediately.

For more great Korean recipes, please visit Beyond Kimchee. You will find the authentic home-style Korean recipes and more!

If you enjoy cooking Asian food, follow DramaFever's Asian Foods Pinterest board for more recipes!