Thursday, August 18, 2016

Chinese Chicken Salad

I remember when this was about all we'd eat in the teachers' room for lunch - every day - variations on Chinese Chicken Salad.  Thought it was time to have another go at it!

Chinese Chicken Salad

For the chicken:2quarts water
1/2tablespoon sea salt
1star anise
1tablespoon whole black peppercorn
1head garlic, sliced in half
One 1-inch piece garlic, crushed with the side of a knife
A few sprigs cilantro
1scallion, cut into 3 to 4 pieces
2large chicken breasts (about 1 pound)

For the salad and dressing:1napa cabbage
1medium carrot, cut into matchstick-size slivers on a mandoline
1cup mung bean sprouts
1cucumber, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch moons
2scallions, both the white and green parts, cut thin on the bias
1/3cup matchstick-sized slivered radishes
4tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
1tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/2cup whole cilantro leaves
1/2cup whole mint leaves (optional)
1/2cup whole Thai basil leaves (optional)
1/4cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4cup crispy fried shallots (optional)

Add everything for the chicken EXCEPT the chicken to the water, add the salt and bring up to a boil. 

Drop the chicken breasts in, stir, and let just come back up to a simmer. 

Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit, covered in the pot at room temperature, for 20 minutes. 

After 20 minutes, pull the chicken out and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, shred the napa cabbage  

Toss with the carrots, sprouts, cucumbers, scallions, and radishes. 

Whisk the dressing ingredients—sesame oil, lime juice, and dark soy sauce—together and pour over the vegetables.

Using your hands, shred the cooled chicken and add to the salad. 

When you are ready to serve it, add in the herb leaves and the sesame seeds and toss together. 

Serve garnished with the crispy fried shallots or Chinese crispy noodles

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