July 10, 2023

Hoisin Vinaigrette Chopped Salad

This salad sits somewhere between the seasons, just like we do right now. It’s very early spring, where young leafy greens and herbs grow, but we also have the last of the seasonal, domestic citrus fruits like mandarins available. Cucumber is out-of-season, but I’ll make an exception for it’s watery, crunchy, fresh flavor and texture. Because this salad really is a celebration of textures

One of the key texture elements in this salad is the crunch factor, which comes from toasted almonds coated in salty fish sauce. The fish sauce gives the almonds and salad a punch of umami flavor! You can keep this salad vegan by looking for vegan “fish” sauce (often made from seaweed instead of fish), which is becoming more widely available in stores. If you’re not a fish sauce fan, or don’t have it on hand, you can also substitute tamari or soy sauce. But seriously, the fish sauce (And I have to give credit where credit is due, to my brother who is helping me learn to love it!)

This salad could totally be a meal in itself. I’ve added cooked, shelled edamame as my protein here, which makes this salad an awesome plant-based meal. Other times, I’ve omitted the edamame and topped it with flaked, cooked salmon. It would also be great with grilled chicken. I think you’ll also find the Hoisin Vinaigrette dressing a delicious, versatile sauce for use on other salads, rice bowls, or cooked veggies!

Ingredients assembled for Bright Green Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette
Assemble your ingredients.

Stages of making the crunchy almond topping
Start by making the crunchy almond topping. Toast slice almonds in a bit of toasted sesame oil, then turn off heat and add the fish sauce. It will sizzle and steam (as in the picture) and evaporate quickly, so stir to coat the almonds evenly. Set them aside to cool and crisp up while you assemble the rest of the salad.

Shaking up the Hoisin Vinaigrette in a Mason jar
Add the vinaigrette ingredients to a Mason jar and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside while you prepare the salad.

Chopped vegetables in a large green bowl
In a large bowl, toss the romaine, bok choy, and cilantro together, then add cucumber, green onions, edamame and oranges, and toss gently to evenly distribute all ingredients.

Finished salad in a white bowl drizzled with Hoisin Vinaigrette and garnished with the crunchy almonds
Serve salad drizzled with Hoisin Vinaigrette and garnished with the crunchy almonds.

Original publication date: April 8, 2021 // Photos updated May 7, 2023

Hoisin Vinaigrette Chopped Salad

This salad really is a celebration of textures! Tender leafy greens, crisp cucumber, juicy mandarins, creamy edamame, and crunchy almonds are deliciously bathed in Hoisin Vinaigrette.


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











For salad:

1 head romaine or leaf lettuce, chopped

2 heaping cups chopped baby bok choy, tatsoi, or baby spinach leaves

1 English cucumber, sliced

6 green onions, white and green parts, sliced

1/2 bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems, chopped

3 mandarin oranges, peeled and separated into segments

8 oz. shelled edamame (defrosted, if from frozen)

For Hoisin Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup prepared hoisin sauce

1/3 cup avocado oil

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

For crunchy almond topping:

1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

1 cup sliced almonds

2 Tbsp. fish sauce (or tamari)


  1. Prepare crunchy almond topping: in a small skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-low heat. Add sliced almonds, and toss to coat. Toast almonds over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning, about 8-10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, and add the 2 Tbsp. fish sauce, and stir quickly to coat almonds. The fish sauce will sizzle and steam, and quickly evaporate. Set almonds aside to cool while preparing the rest of the salad.
  2. Make the Hoisin Vinaigrette by adding the hoisin, avocado oil, rice vinegar, black pepper, and sesame seeds to a Mason jar and shaking vigorously to combine (or place in a bowl and whisk to combine). Set aside.
  3. Assemble the salad ingredients in a large bowl: chopped lettuce, chopped bok choy/tatsoi/spinach, sliced cucumber, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, mandarin orange segments, and cooked edamame. Toss to combine.
  4. Serve salad dressed to your liking with Hoisin Vinaigrette, and topped with crunchy almonds.
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