Friday, February 18, 2011

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad is one of my favorite things to eat.
I originally got the recipe from Florence Taguchi, Carie's grandmother. 

She made it for Carie and her brother Ryan's birthday parties back in the late '70s and '80s, and I thought it was one of the most delicious things I'd eaten.

I still do.



The way I make it now has changed a lot from Mrs. Taguchi's recipe, but I still remember her key ingredient was cilantro leaves, that's what made it so good. 

Now everyone makes it that way.



Ingredients:

1/2 head chopped red leaf lettuce

1/2 head chopped romaine lettuce

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

1/3 cup julienne sliced green onions

1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds

1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds

2 split chicken breasts

Maifun noodles, won ton skins, and/or other crunchies



Boil the chicken breasts with a slice of fresh ginger and a clove of garlic and salt and pepper.



Bring the chicken to a boil over medium heat.



Skim the foam off the top, put the lid on, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. 

Turn off heat and let the chicken cool in the water.




Cut the heads of lettuce through the core and split them in half. It makes it a lot easier to wash and cut them.

Slice the lettuce first horizontally and then vertically into bite-sized pieces, stopping short of the core.



Julienne slice the green onions.


Dressing:

1 1/4 cup peanut oil

1 cup vinegar

1/4 cup sesame oil

1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon miso

1/2 teaspoon mustard



(The addition of miso & mustard is thanks to HSK.)






Put the dressing ingredients in the blender and blend.


A word of advice: If your blender pitcher cracks and you need a new one, also get a new lid. I assumed my old lid would fit, but it is several years old, and not a perfect fit. 

It's horrible to find out your lid doesn't fit when you're blending a green smoothie--it's quite a mess to clean up!



These are maifun noodles.

You'll only need about a quarter of the package.

Break them apart in a bowl, it makes bit of a mess.



I also use egg roll or won ton wrappers, several sheets, cut into strips.



Cut the ends of the maifun noodles with kitchen shears so they're in long strips. The ends curve around, and if you try and break them apart as you're frying, it will make a big mess at your stove.



Heat oil in frying pan or wok.

You can test the oil with a small piece of the won ton strip, when it sizzles quickly, then the oil is ready.



Be careful, they cook quickly, especially when you're trying to take pictures! You want them to be golden brown.

Next, the maifun noodles.


video

A note about the maifun noodles...

After they puff up, turn the bundle over to be sure all the noodles have been fried.

There's nothing worse when eating Chinese Chicken Salad than biting into a hard, uncooked piece of noodle!

This was my first attempt at video with my new phone!

I'll get better...

That's the drone of the overhead fan in the background. Be sure you have your hood fan on so the oil doesn't go everywhere!



If you want to skip the whole frying the noodles thing, you can use these, they're very convenient.



So you've got your greens all ready to go with your almonds.

Add 1 tablespoon roasted white sesame seeds.

Toss with about 1/4 cup dressing.

Add 1/2 the crunchies to the salad after it's dressed.



I forgot to add the chicken!



Shred the chicken into small pieces.

You can add the chicken on top for your omnivores.



Save a little bit of the crunchies to add to the top.





Happy Eating!



***



I wish I had a picture of Mrs. Taguchi, but instead, I'll introduce you to another one of her grandchildren.

Carie's brother, Ryan.



This is in '86 at Pismo Beach.

Ryan's pushing--Rick!



Ryan was such a cute little guy, and he's a cute big guy too.

I don't have a picture of Ryan, the man. 

He likes to have fun--fishing and riding motorcycles--and he's got a GREAT sense of humor. 

He cooks, too!



  No printable recipe for this one yet.

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