Chinese Chopped Salad with Ramen Crunch and Ginger Vinaigrette

Posted on July 24th, 2013 by Leah Damron

We have somewhat of a Sunday tradition around here.  I call it somewhat of a tradition because it doesn’t happen very often — but it’s the tradition where like, at around 3:00 on a Sunday afternoon I state loudly to anyone who’s listening that I don’t feel like cooking dinner.  The Husband (who always seems to be within earshot when I make this announcement) says that he will be in charge.  Then, while I continue to fold laundry or go take a nap or just loaf around in general, he heads to Sendik’s and gets a whole bunch of stuff for a big chopped salad.  I love this tradition because (stop me if I’ve told you this before) making salads is not my favorite thing.  I’m of the mind that salads (and sandwiches) always taste better when someone else makes them.  I’m just quirky that way I guess.

That said, I made the chopped salad in that photo up there — I just ate it for lunch and it was sooooooo flippin’ good I could’ve sworn someone else made it for me.  And it wasn’t hard to do at all.

I have spent a very long time searching for the perfect Chinese Chopped Salad recipe, and I’ve tried a bunch.  The recipe here today is a morph of all of the different components that I’ve liked best from the various versions I’ve tried over the years, and this one is the total bomb.  You’ll notice on the salad portion of the recipe the measurements are not precise.  Add or subtract ingredients as you like.  Some people like Mandarin oranges and bean sprouts, for instance.  Julienned pea pods would also be excellent.  This is just my version — give it a try and adjust it to your liking and to however many people you’re serving.  I adore it and I hope you will too. : )

CHINESE CHOPPED SALAD
SERVES:  4
SOURCE:  The Ginger Vinaigrette can be found on epicurious.com

FOR THE SALAD:
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped (Romaine Lettuce is on sale)
1 – 2 big handfuls bagged shredded cole slaw mix
1 large handful shredded carrot
1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
3 scallions, dark green and pale green parts only, chopped
1 large pinch chopped cilantro (to taste, I added more)

Half the meat from one rotisserie chicken, shredded

FOR THE RAMEN CRUNCH:
1 T. butter
2 T. sesame seeds
2 T. slivered almonds
1 package ramen noodles, crushed; seasoning packet discarded

FOR THE DRESSING:
2 scallions, rough chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
1 T. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 T. sesame oil
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
1 T. honey
1/4 c. canola oil

Place salad ingredients in a large bowl; toss to blend.  Top greens with the shredded chicken.  Set in the fridge to chill.

Place an eight or ten inch sauté pan over medium heat and melt the butter.  Add the sesame seeds, almonds, and crushed ramen noodles to the pan and cook, stirring, until mixture begins to turn golden brown, 5 – 10 minutes.  Season lightly with kosher salt to taste.  Set aside to cool while you make the dressing.

Blend scallions, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey in a mini food processor.  With the motor running, gradually add canola oil and process until well blended.

Top salad greens and chicken with toasted ramen mixture.  Dress salad as desired, tossing to coat.  Divide between individual bowls or plates and serve immediately.

Blogs, Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | July 24th, 2013