While we miss the city, we are excited to have a real summer this year. Scorching hot days, and balmy nights. That is the one complaint we have had about San Francisco, there are no real seasons. Even though we are only 10 minutes from downtown, the temperature is consistently 10 – 20 degrees warmer in Oakland. YEAH! Hot weather means time to explore those recipes that we have not made in a very long time. One of them has been this killer recipe for a Healthy Asian Chicken Salad.
As we are anticipating many balmy nights of dining al fresco, I am searching out easy and light meals to make after a long day of work. A favorite of mine for nights like this is this amazing Chinese Chicken Salad. I have been making this recipe since moving to California some twenty years ago when I had my first taste at a restaurant by the name of the Good Earth. I loved the tangy dressing with crunchy noodles. Over time, my recipe has evolved, and finally, I have it just the way I like it.
When I started playing with this old favorite last week, I knew one thing, I wanted the dressing to have more flavor beyond sesame oil. A little kick and a lot of tang. Morris Kitchen Ginger Syrup was exactly what my recipe needed to go from good to outrageous. I added a generous helping of this gingery simple syrup, alongside sesame oil, soy, rice vinegar, chilies, and lime. It was creamy, slightly spicy and just tangy enough.
Remember the poached chicken I introduced a while back, well, it is perfect to use in Chinese Chicken Salad. The silky chicken is fantastic bathed in this tangy dressing.
To add texture to the salad I used a mixture of baby greens, carrot ribbons, and blanched baby bok choy. The crunch came in the form of toasted sesame seeds and fried wonton chips.
Hot summer days and balmy evenings are a great excuse for a picnic, as well. This Chinese Chicken Salad packs up perfectly. Toss the shredded chicken meat with half of the dressing. Pack the greens and carrot ribbons separately. Pour the toasted sesame seeds into a small container and pack the wonton chips in another. Put everything into a cooler, with a bottle of lemonade or Rose, grab your picnic gear, pack a blanket, and head out with the one you love.
Healthy Asian Chicken Salad
Using leftover roasted chicken makes this salad a snap to prepare. We like to enjoy it as a large salad for two, either for lunch or dinner.
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- zest of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons morris kitchen ginger syrup or 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon hot chili oil
- 1/8 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 lb baby boy choy, cut in half
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, scrubbed clean
- 5 cups mixed baby greens, washed and dried
- 3 cups shredded poached or roasted chicken
- 12 wonton wrappers, cut in half
- 1/4 cup safflower oil
In a small jar combine the first 7 ingredients, put a lid on top, and shake like crazy. Set aside.
In a medium frying pan, over medium heat, lightly toast the sesame seeds until golden; about 2 minutes.
Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
In the same frying pan add the safflower oil and gently heat.
Adding a single layer of wonton wrappers, cook, turning once, until golden brown.
Approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.
Transfer to a paper towel, and repeat the process.
Once finished frying the wontons, set them aside until later.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt.
Have a large bowl of ice water nearby. Add the bok choy, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.
Immediately drain into a colander and then plunge the bok choy into the icy water. Drain and pat dry.
In a large salad bowl add the greens, onions, cucumber slices and chicken.
Using a vegetable peeler cut the carrot into ribbons. Add to the salad bowl.
Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the top.
Crunch half of the wonton chips over the salad.
Add the bok choy.
Lightly drizzle with half of the dressing, and toss. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top.
Use that leftover roasted chicken to whip this salad up in no time.
Michelle @ Taste As You Go
Monday 25th of June 2012
I shouldn't have started reading food blog before getting my lunch for the day. Now I know that *nothing* I choose will come close to this salad. It looks so good!
Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes
Thursday 7th of June 2012
I´m getting to know asian flavors so I need, for a while, to follow recipes exactly until I become familiar with how the ingredients work together. This salad sounds good to the last detail, from the ribbons to the seeds, and the ginger. What a great recipe.
Brian @ A Thought For Food
Wednesday 6th of June 2012
That syrup would totally be my thing, but I become a little obsessed with anything that has ginger in it. Salad looks lovely... might try it with some seared tuna. Seems like that would work nicely.
susan of food blogga
Wednesday 6th of June 2012
You know, of all the times I have visite SF, I don't think I've ever experienced warm weather. In fact, my one winter coat was purchased a couple of Septembers ago in SF when I was freezing my buns off! Yes, I'm a San Diego wimp.