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Spicy Walk a Mile Tiger Salad

Spicy Walk a Mile Tiger Salad

Honest Cooking’s Nicole Criss with her take on the deliciously fresh and spicy tiger salad that she walked a mile to taste.
By Nicole Criss

I recently walked a mile to eat a salad.  I told my husband and son I was going to get some exercise, but as soon as I left the house, I was guided by my tastebuds, straight onto the streets of Chinatown.  That’s one of the nice things about living in downtown Manhattan.  I am just a stone’s throw away from what feels like another country, with sights, sounds and smells to go with it.  It’s a wonderful change of pace and I’m drawn back there whenever I get a minute to myself.

So there I was, tucked inside this tiny take-out restaurant, Xi’an Famous Foods.   The place is known for its stunningly spicy hand pulled noodle dishes, but since this was a snack in-between meals I decided to try the only vegetable dish they offer: the Tiger Salad, a pungent and spicy salad made of jalapeños, cilantro, and maybe some celery leaves- doused in vinegar.  It really got me sweating and I was “fired up” for the rest of my walk.

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This salad my take on the Tiger Salad.  On the way home, I stopped and bought all the ingredients, adding a little something to help counter the spice– cucumber which is naturally cooling.  We’ve since been on a Tiger Salad binge, eating it three days in a row.

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Walk a Mile Tiger Salad

  • Author: Nicole Criss
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


Inspired by the Tiger Salad served at Xi’an Famous Foods in NYC’s Chinatown. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll walk a mile for it too.


  • 1/2 English Cucumber
  • 34 celery stalks (preferably with leaves)
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 green jalapeño
  • 1 red jalapeño
  • 23 scallions
  • Vinegar to taste


  1. Cut the cucumber and celery stalks on the bias.
  2. Chop the cilantro.
  3. Cut the jalapeños on the bias (you can remove the seeds, or some of them to reduce the intensity of the spice.)
  4. Slice the scallions on the bias.
  5. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and douse with vinegar.
  6. Serve chilled.


You can use a white vinegar or an apple cider vinegar.

  • Prep Time: 3 mins


View Comments (2)
  • Great piece, I will be attempting it soon! But the tiger salad is not Xi’an’s only vegetable dish. They offer a delicious spicy cucumber salad as well.

  • I just left NYC from a biz trip. I was blown away by this place. I tried the tiger salad and have been trying to deconstruct to make at home because I always have cilantro and celery that goes bad in my crisper.

    The secret to ME is the way they cut the greens (e.g. thin diagonal celery cuts and 1/2 cuts of cilantro including stems – a rare addition) AND the dressing. The dressing definitely has a bit of sesame oil in it and perhaps a combo of lime and vinegar. What I can’t pin down is the depth of saltiness it has. It is salty but not overpowering. Maybe a squirt of fish sauce and/or some sea salt dissolved. Anyone venture a guess?

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