I’ve been dying to share this Chinese chicken salad recipe. It has become one of my absolute favorite salads. Its quick to put together and the dressing, made with classic chinese/asian ingredients, gives a burst of flavor to the salad. Even the most hard core salad haters will enjoy it.
This chinese chicken salad is light and packed with veggies. Its a meal that you can have (and make) any night of the week, since its so easy to put together and tastes as good as any chinese take out. Plus, it doesn’t make you feel that guilty eating it. Since you make it at home you know the exact ingredients going into your body.
You can customize the salad to your liking- adding or omitting veggies you like and don’t like.
For a vegetarian version add tofu- you could marinate the tofu and grill it for added flavor.
I like salads. But for a very long time I considered it only a side. Not a complete meal. And on the occasions that I did have it as a meal it was something like this tomato and feta pasta salad I am not sure with the added carbs of pasta counts as a salad.
The case now is different. I no longer mind salads as a complete meal. And am open to the idea of ordering one at a restaurant (though I never follow that through, am now open to the idea and won’t laugh or judge you for suggesting to order a salad). I have also started experimenting with more healthy salads at home. Like this warm goat cheese salad. And now this chinese style chicken salad.
The recipe is adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook. While the yield in the original recipes serves two, I chop more vegetables than the original recipe calls for and ziploc the extras separately, so that the next day I have a quick meal to put together for lunch.
You can also find the recipe online on the Cook country’s website. And while you are on it, and looking for additional salad ideas- you can check out this Quinoa Salad. It’s on my next salad to try list.
Note: The whole salad is topped with chow mein noodles. For my indian friends, what we consider chow mein is actually lo mein noodles in the US. And chow mein is kind of like the chop suey that we are served in restaurants in India. I am not sure which version is more correct/authentic, but thought would clarify what the recipe means when it says to add chow mein noodles. These noodles are what give a slight crunch to the salad.
- 2 skinless, boneless breasts (marinated with a little salt, pepper, sesame oil and soy sauce)
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- Napa cabbage, shredded
- 2 medium carrots, julienned
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch strips
- 1 package bean sprouts (1 cup)
- ½ cup chow mein noodles (crunchy noodles- see note above)
- 2 green onions, sliced thin at an angle
- 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 1 can baby corn, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 3½ tbsp rice vinegar
- 2½ tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2½ tsp soy sauce
- 1½ tsp freshly grated ginger
- ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, soy sauce and oil. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
- Heat 1 tsp vegetable oil over medium high heat until just smoking. Brown the chicken till well browned on one side, 5-7 minutes.
- Flip the chicken, add ½ cup water and reduce heat to low. Cover the pan and let chicken cook for another 5-7 minutes till chicken is cooked.
- Transfer chicken to a chopping board and once cool, shred the chiken.
- Combine the veggies, chow mein noodles and chicken (or tofu for a vegetarian version) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the ingredients listed under dressing.
- Drizzle the dressing over the veggies and mix. Season with salt and pepper. Serve
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