Quick Asian Chicken Salad

For years I had to have the bottled dressing to make this salad - which meant if I didn't happen to have the dressing, I couldn't make the salad. Since the dish is supposed to be super fast and simple, that seemed rather silly.

It took some playing around before I came up with the dressing my family liked - I kept trying to make it too complicated. It takes moments only to throw these ingredients into a bowl, and I can't get to the store for the bottled stuff nearly as fast. On top of that - this version tastes better. There is none of the 'processed' or chemical taste that comes in the bottle. Plus, often I'll simply cut the vegetable oil to a tablespoon or less. It brightens the flavor big time.

If you'd like feel free to toss in a few more cashews and skip the chicken entirely. My kiddos are perfectly happy with that. It maintains the proteins, and is even simpler. Or use very lean pork loin slices - those are delicious as well. I'd use beef too - if we ever had any left over.

If you like it that way fine - if not, feel free to add up to a quarter cup of vegetable oil or canola oil. Feel free to adapt this to your liking. It goes together in no time at all.

Nutrition Info!

I am NOt a nutritionist, but I like to use an online analyser to work on dishes. This one is pretty good - and there are some easy changes you can make depending on what you're after. Add additional veggies, such as sliced bok choy or red peppers and cut the cashews and chow mein noodles. The noodles and cashews however, go a long way to providing a lot of the 'satisfaction' factor that dishes need - crunch and heft. You can also halve the brown sugar if you'd like .

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 185 g

Amount Per Serving

Calories 294

Calories from Fat 168

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 18.7g 29%

Saturated Fat 3.4g 17%

Cholesterol 37mg 12%

Sodium 295mg 12%

Total Carbohydrates 14.0g 5%

Dietary Fiber 1.8g 7%

Sugars 6.8g

Protein 16.3g

Vitamin A 11%

Vitamin C 7%

Calcium 4%

Iron 10%

Nutrition Grade B+

* Based on a 2000 calorie diet


2 Tbl brown sugar

1 Tbl soy sauce

1 Tbl sesame oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 Tbl vegetable oil

1 large or 2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts*

1 tsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1 head  red leaf lettuce3 green onions, sliced

1/4 cup cashew nuts, roughly chopped

1/2 cup crispy chow mein noodles

  1. Whisk together first five ingredients in a small bowl, and stash in the fridge to let the flavors marry for about half an hour. Make sure you whisk again before use - makes sure the sugar hasn't stayed at the bottom of the bowl. Taste for seasoning.

  2. Oil the grill or a grill pan, and preheat to medium high. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken liberally. Grill chicken breast for about six minutes per side, or until cooked through. Set aside to rest.
  3. Cut lettuce in strips, or bite size pieces - your preference. Place in a serving bowl. Top with cashews, noodles and green onion. Pour dressing over salad, and toss to combine.
  4. Slice chicken diagonally, and place on top of the salad. Serve immediately - the noodles will get soggy if you wait too long.

*Frankly - if I'm grilling chicken, I'll make an extra breast or two and stash in the fridge, so a couple of days later I have dinner halfway done for me.

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