Chinese Chicken Salad

This is my mother’s Chinese Chicken Salad recipe, which she used to make all the time and was published in a cookbook of her peers (more on that later).  My mom always tossed the chicken with napa cabbage, lettuce, fried rice sticks and scallions, but last night I put the chicken and vegetables on a bed of cold soba noodles like these:

I used the noodles to stretch dinner out over lunch today and to round out my girls pitiful plates.

What the adults ate:

And what the kids ate.  They’re very into deconstruction right now, which is fine, but when they start asking for flavored foam or nitrogen tricks with their food, they’re out.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chicken breasts, either steamed with white wine and ginger or roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper and slices of ginger on top.   I know that’s not pretty, but the chicken comes out perfectly moist and slightly infused with ginger flavor.  I roasted it at 350° for about 30 minutes.  Once roasted, I thinly sliced it.

Dressing

8 Tbsp Sesame Seed Oil

8 Tbsp Soy Sauce

4 Tbsp Cider Vinegar

4 tsp freshly grated ginger

4 tsp sugar

4 red chili peppers (or 4 Tbsp hot pepper oil), optional

8 Tbsp sliced scallions

Whisk all ingredients together and pour over salad.

The dressing is what makes this salad great.  So, if you decide to do this Vicki’s way (that’s my mom), you could shred the chicken and toss it with thinly sliced napa cabbage, lettuce, fried rice sticks, scallions and the dressing.  Or my way, with a bed of noodles, a layer of vegetables (cabbage, red bell pepper, scallions and cilantro), followed by the chicken, making sure to dress the whole thing AFTER the kids have put together their sad, naked plates of components and filled their little ramekins with dressing for dipping.

– Catherine

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