Shrink-My-Ass-Month: Asian Chicken Salad

January 5, 2010

Sorry folks, but this is not the 1980’s version of Chinese Chicken Salad. You know, the one with a whole can of those delicious fried chow mein noodles in it and a cup of sliced almonds and the 3/4 cup of salad oil in the dressing? Yes, it is true that 1980’s Chinese Chicken Salad is a yummy bit of goodness, but it’s hella bad for your ass.

The good news? You can still enjoy the flavors of Asian Chicken Salad without all of the fattening doo-dads. And, best of all, this salad is a snap to make.

The dressing for this salad comes from Ellie Krieger’s cookbook So Easy. I substituted honey for brown sugar in the dressing, just because I think it emulsifies better.

If you like, you can add mandarin oranges to the salad. I didn’t because frankly, I don’t like them. Is that weird? Doesn’t everyone like mandarin oranges? And just as I write this sentence, I realize that I don’t like regular oranges, either. I love the smell of oranges, as I’m peeling them, but I don’t really like the way they taste.

Great. Yet another little oddity about myself, revealed in this public space.

Well, despite my quirks, I think you’ll like this salad. Best of all, the cabbage is sturdy enough to last a day in the refrigerator, so you can toss it together the night before and take the leftovers to the office for a healthy lunch the next day.

Just step away from that can of chow mein noodles!

Asian Chicken Salad
serves 4
adapted from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy

2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons honey (Kreiger calls for 2 tablespoons brown sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha hot chile sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 head napa cabbage, sliced
1 cup shredded carrot
3 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/3 cup slivered almonds

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