Asian Chicken Salad
[1] This Mandarin Chicken Salad has a bed of crunchy shredded cabbage (cole slaw mix). The mandarins are the Satsuma variety. The Mandarin group also includes clementines, satsumas, tangelos, tangerines) and branded versions like Cuties and Halos.
Here are the differences (photo © Good Eggs).


[2] Here’s how Cheesecake Factory molds the SkinnyLicious Asian Chicken Salad. The recipe: grilled chicken, atop romaine, snow peas, carrots, bean sprouts and scallions, garnished with almonds and sesame seeds with a sesame-soy dressing (photo © Cheesecake Factory).

Asian Chicken Salad
[3] This Asian Chicken Salad is on a conventional romaine base, with DIY garnishes so everyone can customize his/her own salad: chopped peanuts, edamame, diced pineapple instead of mandarins, red onion, scallion (photo © Souplantation).

chinese-shrimp-salad-sweetandcrumbly-230
[4] This variation, from Bullock’s Tea Room in herman Oaks, California, substitutes shrimp for chicken. Here’s the recipe (photo © Sweet And Crumby).


[5] Radishes and snow peas add crunch to this mesclun-based Asian Chicken Salad at The Tuck Room | NYC (photo © The Tuck Room).

Halos Peeled

[6] Halos, a branded clementine mandarin from Wonderful Foods. Cuties are another brand of clementine, from Paramount Citrus.

 

If your produce department lacks inspiration in the heart of winter, you can still mix up a colorful, luscious salad.

One of our favorites is this Sesame Chicken Salad with Mandarin Oranges. Winter is peak season for mandarins, and the small fruit segments add bright orange color to salad greens.

It’s a recipe that is variously called Asian Chicken Salad or Chinese Chicken Salad, and can have a base of lettuces and different salad greens, or as in this case, crunchy cabbage slaw.

There are variations on the name, but the rules are neither hard nor fast:

  • Asian Chicken Salad, the most generic term, indicates a sesame-soy-ginger vinaigrette or peanut dressing.
  • Chinese Chicken Salad uses mandarin or pineapple plus fried chow mein noodles.
  • Mandarin Chicken Salad refers to the mandarin segments in the recipe (the difference between mandarins and oranges).
  • Thai chicken Salad substitutes rice noodles (shown in the photo) for the chow mein noodles, and adds a peanut garnish and/or peanut dressing.
  •  
    Here’s the history of Asian/Chinese/Mandarin Chicken Salad.
     
     
    RECIPE #1: CRUNCHY MANDARIN CHICKEN SALAD

    This flavorful main course salad comes together in minutes when you buy pre-shredded cabbage slaw, pre-cooked chicken breasts and sesame-ginger dressing or peanut dressing. The recipe is adapted from Good Eggs.

    Ingredients For 2 Dinner-Size Servings

  • 1 bag cabbage slaw
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-4 scallions
  • Optional: shredded carrots, sliced radishes, green peas, sugar peas and/or edamame
  • Fresh mandarin oranges (not canned!)
  • Cooked chicken breasts
  • Fried chow mein noodles
  • Semi-ripe avocado (substitute edamame)
  • Sesame ginger dressing or peanut dressing (recipes below)
  •  
    Plus

  • Sesame-Ginger Dressing
  • Peanut Dressing
  •  
    The recipes are dressing recipes are below.
     
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the cabbage slaw in a big mixing bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to allow the cabbage to wilt a little.

    2. SLICE the scallion whites and greens and add to the slaw. Peel the mandarins, break apart the segments and add to the bowl. Slice the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the salad bowl.

    3. DRIZZLE with the sesame dressing and toss to combine. Place on serving plates. Topp with avocado slices and fried ramen noodles.
     

    RECIPE #2: SESAME-GINGER DRESSING

    Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil or other salad oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • Optional: peanuts or cashews
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE all ingredients in a blender and blend on high.
     
     
    RECIPE #3: PEANUT DRESSING

    Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons peanut butter (substitute tahini)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (preferably toasted)
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE all ingredients in a blender and blend on high.
     
     
    HOW TO TOAST SESAME SEEDS

    Stovetop toasting: In a large frying pan, heat the sesame seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally. They are ready when they darken and become fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.

    Oven toasting: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet and bake until the seeds darken and become fragrant, about 15 minutes.

    Allow the toasted seeds to cool; then store in a covered jar at room temperature.

    RECIPE #3: PEANUT DRESSING

    Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons peanut butter (substitute tahini)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (preferably toasted)
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE all ingredients in a blender and blend on high.
     
     
    HOW TO TOAST SESAME SEEDS

    Stovetop toasting: In a large frying pan, heat the sesame seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally. They are ready when they darken and become fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.

    Oven toasting: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet and bake until the seeds darken and become fragrant, about 15 minutes.

    Allow the toasted seeds to cool; then store in a covered jar at room temperature.

     

      


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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