Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chinese Chicken Salad

Here is a salad that is not quite as quick as my last posts, but looks like way more work than it is! The only part of the process that is time-consuming is slicing and dicing a few vegetables, and cooking the chicken, but the rest of the process really just involves combining and mixing! 

I've always LOVED these kinds of salads; I've bought them in stores and at a few restaurants, but this is the first time I've ventured to make anything like this -- and let me tell you, it was OH SO GOOD! Not to mention it is packed full of super nutritious goodies, such as edamame, cabbage, chicken, and other lovely Asian accoutrements. Then, it is topped with a dressing that features predominant flavors of peanut, chile, ginger, and soy. It has such warmth, depth, and spice, but still very light and refreshing!

While the list of ingredients make look somewhat daunting, it makes a very large portion -- about 6 large servings, or 12 side servings. Also, the dressing features delicious, versatile Asian ingredients that you can make very good use of in the future! Please read on, and ENJOY!


* 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

* 3/4 head napa cabbage, shredded (about 6 cups)
* 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
* 1 cup edamame, shelled and pre-cooked (you can find this in the freezer section of the grocery store)
* 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
* 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained
* 1 11-ounce can Mandarin oranges, drained
* 3 scallions, thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped 

* 3 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
* 3 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons peanut butter
* 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha (depending how much heat you like)
* 1 teaspoon minced ginger
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic

Optional Garnish
* Chopped cilantro
* Chopped peanuts

* Preheat the oven to 350F. 
* Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish.
* Brush 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil onto the chicken breasts. 
* Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked (it is firm to the touch, and juices run clear).
* Remove the chicken breast from the baking dish, and cool completely.
* When the chicken reaches room temperature, cut into 1/4 inch pieces.

* In a large bowl, combine the next 8 ingredients (cabbages, carrots, edamame, scallions, water chestnuts, Mandarin oranges, and cilantro), along with the chicken pieces.
** Make sure all ingredients are well drained, otherwise you will end up with a watery salad.

* In a small bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.
* Pour the sauce over the rest of your ingredients, and gently stir to combine.

* Top with some peanut and cilantro as garnish, and make yourself a big bowl o' fresh...

* Nom nom nom...

Recipe adapted from here & here.

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