Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chinese Chicken Salad

I don't know about you, but in my family growing up we very rarely had a 'main-dish-salad' for dinner.  My family more of the mind set of 'skip the salad, save room for dessert'.  And then I met and married my husband.  For him, a really great summer meal was a cobb salad, garden veggies and peach halves with cottage cheese.  After twelve years of marriage I'm slowly learning that yes, a cool salad makes a great supper.  Thankfully the children all seem to take after his family because this Chinese Chicken Salad (or Chicken Nugget Salad, as they call it) is much requested.  And yes, I still save room for dessert.

For the Dressing you will need:
6 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1/2 C Mayo
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp Sesame Oil
and mix it all together.

For the Salad you will want to mix the following in a large bowl, adjusting amounts as you prefer:

Chicken--bite-sized pieces of Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Patties, Grilled Chicken, Home-Canned Chicken, any will work.  I like to keep Chicken Patties on hand.

Romaine Lettuce
Napa or Green Cabbage
Red Cabbage

Shredded Carrots
Green Onions
Sliced Almonds
Chow Mein Noodles

Now, you can buy Chow Mein noodles from the grocery and use them but there's just no competing with the flavor and fun of frying your own noodles.  It is super easy.  Here's what you need to fry your noodles:

Maifun or Saifun Noodles, also called Rice Sticks.  You should be able to find them in the Asian section of your grocery store.  My preference is the Maifun Noodles (which resemble Angel Hair pasta in size) but the store I was at only carried the Saifun, which are more of a fettucine size.

Notice that although this is a 16-oz. package I only set out a small handful.  You'll find out why in a minute.

Heat Oil in a skillet until very hot, almost smoking.  To test to see if the Oil is hot enough, drop one small noodle in.  If the noodle sinks to the bottom and just sits there, the Oil isn't hot enough.  It should rapidly spaz out, expand and rise to the top.  I know that 'spaz out' isn't a culinary term but there's really no other way to describe it.  The noodles simply spaz out.  You'll see what I mean.  Then, using a slotted spoon, carefully lift out the noodles onto paper towel to drain.  Here's what happens, step by step:

The Noodle briefly sinks to the bottom of the pan,


Curls and

Spazzes out.

Here's what it looks like when you start to fry in bunches:

First this,

Then this:

You can see that the center hasn't fried; just flip it over and fry it, too.

Remember the small amount of noodles I had set aside?  This is what they look like all fried up:

A little bit goes a long way, doesn't it!

So, toss the Salad with the Dressing, stir in the Noodles and serve!

And don't forget to save room for dessert!

***Be careful when frying the Noodles, the oil can spatter.  Use extra caution when the kids are watching; they will want to fry more Noodles than you will need.***


Holly said...

The salad looks super yummy and perfect for this weather that is in the near future around here...
Do you ever make chow mein and if so do you use the same type of noodles and boil them in water???
I've tried different chow mein recipes and while my family likes it I just haven't found the texture that I'm looking for.
They definitely "spazz"...perfect description!

Carolyn Miller said...

Holly, I haven't got my Chow Mein 'perfected' yet, but yes, use the same noodles. Don't boil them, just soak them in hot water for about 5 minutes, maybe slightly longer. C

Holly said...

Hope you get it perfected and then share:)
Have a great week~

Holly said...

Finally tried this and it was thankfully a hit!!! So yum! Bring on the summer salads:)