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Dorothy Dean presents: Chinese Chicken Salad serves up flavor and crunch

UPDATED: Mon., July 23, 2018, 11:42 a.m.

Using rotisserie chicken makes this flavorful salad a snap to whip up. (Audrey Alfaro)
Using rotisserie chicken makes this flavorful salad a snap to whip up. (Audrey Alfaro)

To me, a good salad is not only full of flavor, but texture. Texture is everything. I want crisp, creamy, juicy, tender and – the absolute necessity – crunch.

These elements can be brought on by a variety of different foods. And, when paired with the right dressing, it makes for one harmonious mouthful.

This Chinese Chicken Salad is just that. A mouthful of flavor, texture and pure deliciousness.

This vibrant and fresh salad is loaded with moist chicken, crisp romaine, shredded cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, juicy mandarin oranges, slivered almonds, sesame seeds and crunchy wonton strips. Phew, that alone is a mouthful!

And don’t get me started on the dressing. It’s to die for. You know, the kind you order extra of and then ask if it’s available to buy. It’s created by Hawaii’s official “Ambassador of Food” and owner of numerous restaurants, chef Sam Choy. His creamy concoction is a mixture of mayonnaise, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Besides being great on salads, it’s a tasty dip for steak, chicken or fish. And you’ll have plenty of it leftover, as this recipe makes 4 cups of dressing.

This salad is also a breeze to whip up when using my favorite shortcut: rotisserie chicken. Ahi tuna is amazing on this salad, too.

Instead of using bagged chow mein noodles or wonton strips, try making fresh strips by slicing wonton or egg roll wrappers and frying until golden. They are scrumptious alone and beyond addicting when dipped in the dressing.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Adapted from melskitchencafe.com and dressing from hawaiinewsnow.com

For dressing:

3 cups mayonnaise

1/2 cup soy sauce

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds (white or black)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

For salad:

3-4 cups cooked chicken, shredded or sliced (you can use rotisserie)

3-4 cups cabbage, shredded (you can use coleslaw mix)

4-5 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, julienned

1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, julienned

1 cup julienned carrots

1 (11-ounce) can mandarin orange slices, drained

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1/8 cup sesame seed

2 cups chow mein noodles or wonton strips

For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use (it can be made several days in advance and refrigerated). This makes 4 cups of dressing, but you will only being using amount desired.

In a large bowl, add all of the salad ingredients and desired amount of dressing, then toss to combine. Serve immediately.


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