I make this salad regularly for dinner and always wondered how it came to be. In our Cookbooks of the Month from Fuchsia Dunlop, there is no recipe or mention of this. I have always thought that it was invented in the U.S. by an enterprising chef who decided to take an American salad and make it "Chinese".
Mine consists of chopped iceburg lettuce, lots of chopped scallions, chunks of soy sauce chicken purchased from my local Chinese bbq place, and toasted sesame seeds. This is mixed with a big bowlful of deep-fried rice sticks and tossed with a dressing made of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and chopped red candied ginger.
I'm making it tonight and suddenly wondered where it came from.