January 24, 2018

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad Resize

As Coleen pointed out in her post on Monday, this is National Soup Month!  She will be sharing some of her favorite soups with us.  And what makes a better meal than soup and salad?   One of my favorite salads is Chinese Chicken Salad!

This is perfect for winter, because all of the ingredients are in season now.  Instead of canned mandarin oranges, you can probably find fresh ones now – I’ve got Clementines and Satsumas left and right at my grocery store.  Red cabbage and carrots are always around, as are green onions.  For the base, I used Napa cabbage, but if you don’t have that, you can use any kind of lettuce you like, or really finely chopped green cabbage.  I cooked some extra chicken breasts last night so I could chop them up cold and throw them over the salad, but you can use whatever chicken you like – roasted, store-bought rotisserie, or even breaded chicken nuggets!

This recipe serves two as part of a lunch or dinner menu.  Try this salad with any soup you like, or paired up with a sandwich, wrap, or pasta dish.  Filling, nutritious and delicious – and it won’t break any of your New Year’s resolutions!

Chinese Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head Napa cabbage, or romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 head small red cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 or 3 green onions
  • 2 mandarin oranges
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, or 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop the Napa cabbage into inch-wide strips.  Finely slice the red cabbage.  Place both in a salad spinner and rinse under cold water, then spin dry.
  2. Cut the carrots into matchsticks.  Finely slice the green onions.  Peel the oranges and remove as much of the white pith as possible.  Separate into segments.  Dice or thinly slice the chicken breasts.
  3. To assemble:  In two very large bowls, mix together the cabbages, carrots, and onions.  Arrange the oranges and chicken breasts on top.  Drizzle each salad with one tablespoon each of sesame oil and rice vinegar, and sprinkle the sesame seeds, salt, and pepper on top.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Asian Pasta Salad

Asian Pasta Salad

This is a recipe my sister used to make 20 years ago.  I think it came from a cookbook she had, which has since been lost in the shuffle of life.  I replicated as closely as I could when I had to bring a dish for a potluck at my daughter’s school.  This Asian Pasta Salad is great alternative to macaroni salad, especially in the summer, since there’s no mayonnaise to worry about.

Use any small pasta shape you like.  I usually like to use bow-ties, but I was out of them for this go around.  To save time, you can cook the chicken the night before you plan to eat this.  I think next time I make this, I will add pea pods and diced green onion.   Those weren’t in the original recipe, but I bet they’d add some sweet, crunchy interest!

Hoisin sauce is widely available, and if your grocery store has an Asian section, I’m sure you can find it – look for a little jar, next to the soy sauce.  You could substitute a jar of Plum Sauce if you can’t find Hoisin.  Hoisin sauce is great for any kind of stir fry you make at home, so I doubt it will go to waste.  The dressing for the Asian Pasta Salad is also tasty on a more traditional “Chinese chicken salad” with shredded cabbage, diced chicken, green onions, slivered almonds, and mandarin orange segments.

Asian Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 pound box of dried pasta, small shape preferred (macaroni, mini-shells, or bow-ties work well)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked, cooled, and chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (try to get at least one red bell pepper), cut into very thin slices
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Boil the pasta, following the directions on the box.   Don’t overcook!
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a small container with a lid, shake together the Hoisin, vinegar, and oil.  When the pasta is done, drain and pour into a very large bowl.  Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss well.
  3. Add the chicken, peppers, and cilantro to the bowl and toss to combine.  Taste for seasoning, as you will probably need salt, and may prefer a little pepper.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and toss again.  Chill for at least an hour, or until ready to serve.

 

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipes, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!