Chinese Chicken Salad
A favorite past time of mine is going shopping and out to lunch with my mom. It doesn’t happen much these days with a hectic schedule and two little ones. Add it to the list of the many things I did before having kids. When we do go out however, we try to make a day of it and have lunch somewhere. It seems like I always order a chinese chicken salad or some variation of it no matter where we go. I suppose I’m a creature of habit. If a similar salad is on the menu, it’s likely I’ll order it!
My two favorite places to order this salad are Nordstrom and Cafe Terigo, in Park City.
Since I haven’t been shopping and out to lunch in I don’t know how long, I decided to make the salad at home. I’ve been craving the flavors and had to take matters into my own hands. If I can’t go to the salad, I’ll have to bring the salad to me, right?
This ginger-sesame dressing recipe makes quite a bit- way more than you will need for this salad so be prepared for extra. No worries, it will keep in the fridge for up to a week or so. FYI- this dressing is awesome drizzled on roasted asparagus or grilled green beans. I pan seared chicken cutlets in panko bread crumbs and sesame seeds to top the salad but feel free to use whatever you have. Leftover rotisserie chicken would be great in a pinch here as would grilled shrimp. If you’re going for a lighter lunch, omit the protein all together!
My husband has a hearty appetite and this salad filled him up. (Granted he ate all of his salad and part of mine……) It was the perfect antidote to all the heavy eating we did during the holidays. This recipe makes enough salad for 2-3 people depending on the appetite!
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 1 large carrot, peeled, thinly sliced
- 1/2 english cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup canned mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 avocado, diced
- ginger-sesame dressing
- 3 cooked chicken breasts (about 1 lb), sliced
- 1/4 cup roasted, salted cashew pieces
- cilantro for garnish
- 6oz flavorless oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients.
- Blend on low for 30 seconds or so until dressing comes together and is smooth.
- Transfer to a jar with tight fitting lid and store in fridge for up to two weeks.
To assemble the salad:
- Place the lettuce, bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, scallions, and orange segments into a large bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss well to coat all the ingredients evenly.
- Arrange dressed salad in bowls or plates.
- Top each salad with sliced chicken, avocado slices, cashew pieces and a few sprigs of cilantro.