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Confucius Chicken Salad

Saignon's picture

Is anyone familiar with the Confucius Chicken Salad in sesame oil vinaigrette that has been on the menu for years at China Grill Restaurant(several locations throughout country)? It's made with napa cabbage. The vinaigrette is really good with lots of cilantro and a creamy texture. I asked the waiter once what was in the dressing but he said it was a secret recipe.

Gretchen's picture

(post #66361, reply #1 of 20)

In France?  You might look at the recipe for Vietnamese chicken salad in the tried and true folder here. It is JUST wonderful. The dressing isn't "creamy" but if you made it and mixed it with an immersion blender, it could be. But it doesn't need to do that. Take a look.

chiquiNO's picture

(post #66361, reply #2 of 20)

She might try adding a bit of plain yogurt or sour cream to the Vietnamese dressing to get the creamy texture.

Chiqui from way down yonder in New Orleans


ashleyd's picture

(post #66361, reply #3 of 20)

Why do you assume it's in France? I assumed it would be the American China Grill which does indeed serve a Confucius Chicken Salad. Can't find an exact recipe but it appears to contain diced chicken, watercress, napa cabbage, crisp rice noodles and black sesame seeds.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #66361, reply #4 of 20)

She didn't assume, she asked.  Probably because the profile says France.  Seems a reasonable question.

ashleyd's picture

(post #66361, reply #5 of 20)

Fair enough but the original poster has asked about American foods before and mentioned napa cabbage, not a well-known food in France.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

delice's picture

(post #66361, reply #6 of 20)

Saignon is a wonderful small village in the Luberon area of Provence.  I assumed that is why Gretchen asked.

Edited 9/16/2007 4:10 pm by delice

Marie Louise's picture

(post #66361, reply #7 of 20)

Sigh...there you go again.

It is getting to the point where I do not want to look at anything you post anymore, because more often than not, it is something like this.

ashleyd's picture

(post #66361, reply #8 of 20)

It is very rarely something "like this" but perception is a personal thing. I ask a simple question, it's taken the wrong way.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Jean's picture

(post #66361, reply #10 of 20)

Following the fine tradition of Americans taking the English the wrong way since the Revolutionary War. :-)

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
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Marie Louise's picture

(post #66361, reply #12 of 20)

Oh, please. I don't believe for one minute you were asking a simple question.

But in this case-as in many of the other times you are going after Gretchen-you are just 100% wrong. And a number of us have pointed it out to you. I've kept quiet until now, but your personal vendetta is getting really old.

Saignon asked if anyone had the recipe for the dressing to this salad that is served at several locations around the country.

Saigon's profile:

Saignon, France


ashleyd's picture

(post #66361, reply #13 of 20)

Suit yourself, I live in England but if I asked here about a restaurant with several locations around the country which country do you think I'd be referring to? Several restaurants are multinational, for all I know China Grill could be one of them, hence the question.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #66361, reply #14 of 20)

It was not "That" you asked a question, it was "how" you asked combined with your prior bad acts with Gretchen.

I suppose we could just excuse it because of the differences in way we express ourselves in our two different countries, however you have demonstrated excellent command of the language and its nuances in the past - sooo that won't work.

As an observer, you do honestly seem to call Gretchen on what she says far more than you do others.  And often the your criticism is a real stretch.  I don't think it is my imagination.

Gretchen's picture

(post #66361, reply #9 of 20)


The gentleman is in France. I knew that. I assume Ashley once again just had to say I was a dumbhead.

Ashley, put me on ignore.


Edited 9/16/2007 6:01 pm ET by Gretchen

ashleyd's picture

(post #66361, reply #11 of 20)

I knew we both knew the poster is in France, but the context suggested the question was about an American restaurant. Given your knowledge of France I thought there may be a China Grill over there, hence the question. Why does everybody assume the worst?

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Saignon's picture

(post #66361, reply #17 of 20)

Allow me to clarify...I am an American who lives in Saignon, France. Having lived most of my life in the USA, I had eaten many times in the China Grill restaurant. Regarding napa cabbage, it is widely available in my area of Provence, in fact, I find the variety of fruits and vegetables available here to be greater than those available in the US.
Having said that, is there a sleuth out there who can find the recipe for this salad?

ashleyd's picture

(post #66361, reply #18 of 20)

Thanks for the clarification, I thought I'd remembered your American heritage. On the recipe front I've found this one and this one from Epicurious. Not sure how close either of them get as I'm not familiar with the dish, but probably they might be a useful starting point. Good luck.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

chscholz's picture

(post #66361, reply #15 of 20)

This dish does not appear to be very Chinese.

There are very few dishes that are eaten raw in China, (raw) salad and Western style salad dressing are not part of any of the major Chinese cooking styles. In particular I have never encountered raw Nappa cabbage (bai cai, literally "white cabbage", more common in Northern than in Southern cuisine. When the leaves turn green the cabbage is usually considered too old to taste good).

My guess is that the dressing of the "Confucius Salad" is nothing but a convenient modification of a conventional Western dressing. As long as it tastes good, who cares if it is authentic or not?

Chris Scholz


Chris Scholz
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX Galoot-Tools
Marie Louise's picture

(post #66361, reply #16 of 20)

Interesting. I've never heard of a China Grill Restaurant. It turns out they aren't all called that-so you might want to Google for their recipes under some of their other names.

PS They have restaurants in England and Mexico... but not France.

taraindc's picture

Dressing for this salad (post #66361, reply #19 of 20)

Ingredients are:

3TBS seasoned rice vinegar

2TBS soy sauce

2TBS mayonnaise

2TBS asian sesame oil

1 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp chili oil

2 TBS vegetable oil


Mix together and toss with salad

liznfredo's picture

Yumminess (post #66361, reply #20 of 20)

This recipe worked out well. I remember the China Grill dressing being a little more on the creamy side. But this defintely sufficed.

I could not find seasoned rice vinegar, so I used regular rice vinegar.

As for the veggies, I used Napa cabbage, water cress and black sesame seeds, then of course chicken. Am I missing anything else?


Thanks for posting the dressing recipe!