Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chinese Chicken Salad

Every time I order this salad at a restaurant or try it at someone's home, I cannot help but to compare it to Ms. Kathy's homemade version. The very first time I tried this wonderful salad was at a potluck at work in the early 90's, and it was Ms. Kathy who made it. When I asked what kind of salad it was, one of our co-workers blurted out; "Chinese chicken salad" in the background, to which Ms. Kathy quickly rebutted with, "Excuse me! It's Kathy's Chinese Chicken Salad, OK!"
Whoa! she really takes pride in her salad, I thought. And as I kept on eating this flavorful concoction, I realized she has good reason to proudly put her name on it. From then on, every Chinese chicken salad I eat must come close to that of Ms. Kathy's.

And although I never got the recipe, and have now lost contact with Ms. Kathy since the 90's, I, like her, also take pride in my own version. Afterall, I have a great salad to live up to, and to stay true to its legend, I now also take this to potlucks, or just about any get togethers.

2 Romaine lettuce hearts (cut up)
1/2 skinless chicken breast (cooked and shredded)
1 stalk green onion
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds

Dressing: (Yields about 1/4 cup. Good for two)

2 Tablespoons extra light olive oil
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Teaspoons honey
1/4 Teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 Teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 Teaspoon sesame seeds

Vermicelli Noodles (Deep Fried)

1. Combine all dry ingredients and chill.
2. Prepare the salad dressing and transfer to a cruet.
3. Fry the vermicelli noodes. Let sit on paper towel and crumble on top of salad.

Clockwise from top left: Romaine lettuce hearts, sesame seeds, green onions, sliced almonds.

Above are two different brands of vermicelli noodles. Either one will do. You can find them
in Asian markets. I like to buy
the ones that are individually packed inside the pink net
packaging, that way I am only using a small batch at a time.

Fry the noodles in very hot oil. Be sure to do a test first by dropping a small piece of the noodle to see if it puffs up in just 1 to 2 seconds.

Toss 'em all up and serve immediately. -GG-

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