Salad doesn’t have to be reserved for a side dish. By adding protein, salad can make a great main course. Mix up your menu and try this Chinese chicken salad.
This is one of my favorite summer salads. I received the recipe from Ila Okada, a long-time 4-H leader in Box Elder County. When I make the salad I use chicken breast that I have canned and keep the veggies, dressing, and toppings separate until I’m ready to make a single serving salad each evening.
Chinese Chicken Salad
- 1 head lettuce, chopped
- 3 green onions
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 1 small cucumber or zucchini
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 1 small can chow mein noodles OR 6-8 wonton skins, quartered and fried
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 7 tablespoons vinegar
- 1/2-1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup oil
Combine sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper in a 1-pint canning jar. Place in the microwave and bring to a boil. Boil until the sugar is dissolved. Cool. Add oil and mix by shaking.
Combine lettuce, green onions, celery, cucumber, sesame seeds, almonds and chicken. Toss.
Just before serving, add chow mein noodles and dressing. Toss again.
How to Toast Sesame Seeds:
Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Or bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Watch to avoid scorching.
How to Toast Sliced Almonds:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°F).
- Spread almonds in a single layer on cookie sheet.
- Bake for 3-4 minutes.
- Check almonds, shake pan to stir almonds.
- Check every minute until they are the desired color.
- Remove from oven and immediately pour onto a plate or platter where they can cool in a single layer. If left on the cookie sheet or in a pile, the almonds will continue to brown.
- Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. You could safely store them longer, but the flavor and texture will deteriorate.
Use the same technique for slivered almonds – just add a couple of minutes. But like always, keep a close eye on them.
This article was written by Ann Henderson, Extension Associate Professor for Utah State University in Box Elder County