Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chinese Chick'n Salad

As a child in the Bay Area, I ate a lot of Chinese food. Asian culture was a huge part of my upbringing and influenced me in many ways (including minoring in Japanese in college & studying in Tokyo). My father retired when I was 6 years old, so we had many, many adventures in San Francisco's Chinatown and Japantown. We also went out to eat a lot! Our favorite spot for Chinese food was Lotus Garden in Foster City, my hometown. It was this little hole in the wall Chinese restaurant run by a small family. For appetizers, we always ordered Chinese Chicken Salad. I've never seen this dish in the Midwest. Perhaps it is just a West Coast dish? Either way, I loved this salad growing up. So, I was bound and determined to remake it vegan. Let's just say I had a lovely taste of childhood when I created this recipe! 食飯 (sihk faahn)!

Chinese Chick'n Salad

* Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
* Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 1 package (7 oz.) chick'n strips*
  • 1 small head lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup napa cabbage, chopped
  • 2 large green onions, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced into sticks
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp shaved almonds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 oz. saifun noodles*
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar*
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp peanut oil, for frying
* Recipe:
Instagram Photo
  1. Heat a medium pan to medium heat. Add half the peanut oil. Fry the chick'n strips until golden brown.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, cabbage, green onions, carrots, cilantro, shaved almonds, and sesame seeds. Mix.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients: rice vinegar, sugar, white vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. 
  4. When chick'n is done cooking, add to the salad bowl. With the remaining peanut oil, fry the saifun noodles. They should only be in there a few seconds and immediately puff up when they hit the hot oil. Dry on paper towels to get rid of excess oil.
  5. Add the salad dressing to the salad mixture. Toss in the large bowl.
  6. On a large plate or bowl, lay the crispy saifun down, then top with the salad.
* Note: For chick'n strips, I used the prepackaged Gardein strips. You could also cut their scallopini's up for the same effect. Morningstar Farms also carries vegan chick'n strips one could use. For a good chick'n salad, one needs crispy noodles. If you can find crispy wonton noodles, that will also work in this recipe. Make sure your sugar is vegan!

1 comment:

Matt said...

This was a fantastic salad! I used kale instead of lettuce, marinated soy curls for the "chicken" and added blanched broccoli to mine. Left everything alone. Great dressing!

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