Most of the Chinese Chicken salads that you can buy in the store or at the corner deli are calorie bombs. The combination of a quart of dressing, a hefty dose of fried wonton skins, nuts and who knows what else, is enough to blow a day’s worth of calories in single tasty bowl. This Chinese Chicken Salad recipe is an actual salad. The dressing is light and full of flavor. I skip the fried wontons entirely. This salad is glorious without any crunchy fried stuff scattered on top. Just say no to crunchy fried stuff. That’s my motto – most of the time.
Chinese Chicken Salad (4-5 main course servings)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (I’m partial to Meyer lemons)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (you can use all rice vinegar but it will be a bit sweet)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup canola oil
- Four cups torn cooked chicken
- 2 heads heart of romaine lettuce, washed and torn or chopped
- ¼ cup finely diced scallions
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 ½ cups sliced white mushrooms
- 1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
- ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
Whisk together soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper until the sugar and salt dissolve. It is much easier to get both sugar and salt to dissolve in vinegar and lemon juice than it is once you’ve added any kind of oil. Add the toasted sesame and the vegetable oil. Whisk until the dressing is combined. Set aside.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately. The dressing can be made in advance and will keep for many weeks in the fridge.