Yesterday we shared a delicious and versatile Asian Citrus Vinaigrette that is simply fantastic as a dressing on salads – like this Asian Chicken Salad! And – the grilled chicken included in today’s recipe was first marinated in that same vinaigrette, giving this salad even more wonderful flavors!
This Asian chicken salad is a mix of tender grilled chicken along with fresh salad greens and Nappa cabbage, plus julienned or thinly sliced vegetables and fruits including carrots, cucumbers, celery, radish and Asian pears. Texture is just as important in this salad as the flavor of the ingredients you use – so be sure to cut the veggies into thin slices for the best results!
Next – we julienned wonton wrappers and quickly fried them to create light and crispy strips for a topping on the salad (my favorite part of any Asian salad)! Finally we dressed all of those fresh and delicious ingredients with that wonderful Asian citrus vinaigrette and a last garnish of fresh cilantro!
We recommend assembling and dressing this salad just before serving so that the vegetables and wonton strips stay as crispy as possible. Just slice and prep all of the ingredients in advance – then when you’re ready to serve, simply assemble your salad on individual serving plates.
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Note: The chicken will need to marinate overnight or for at least six hours. (Prep time listed does not include time needed for the marinating process.) Also note: When you slice the Asian pear, use the lime juice to keep the slices from turning brown. The flesh of the pear oxidizes very quickly so keep the slices moist as you go with the lime juice. Jicama could also be substituted if Asian pears are not available.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed of any excess fat
- 1 cup Asian Citrus Dressing, divided (see recipe here)
- ½ cup buttermilk
- Pan spray
- 12 wonton wrappers, cut into ¼ inch wide strips
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 16 Napa cabbage leaves stems trimmed back
- 1 16-ounce package Mâche rosettes, or other greens of your choice such as a fresh Spring Mix
- 4 ounces bean sprouts
- 2 ounces sweet pea shoots, or other micro green
- 1 Asian pear, cut into thin slices
- Juice from ½ lime (used to keep the pear from turning brown)
- 2 ounces sweet red pepper, cut into julienne strips (match stick)
- 2 stalks celery, cut on the bias into slices
- 2 ounces carrots, cut into julienne strips (about one carrot)
- 2 ounces English cucumber, cut into julienne strips
- 3 ounces red radish, sliced very thin
- 1 medium Jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and sliced thin
- ½ cup whole cilantro leaves
- Place the chicken breasts with ½ cup of the Asian Citrus Dressing, divided (see recipe here) and the ½ cup of buttermilk into a quart size zip lock bag and refrigerate for at least six hours.
- minutes prior to serving, drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, heat oil to 350 (use a candy thermometer to test or place one wrapper piece in oil to see if it starts to bubble). Once oil is hot, add half of the wrapper strips and fry for one to two minutes and remove to paper towel to drain (once they start to brown, get ready to remove them with a small strainer or spider, they brown quickly). Sprinkle a little salt over them as soon as they come out of the oil. Repeat for the second half of the strips and set cooked strips aside. (Try not to munch, they are irresistible)
- Heat a ribbed pan over medium high heat. Spray both sides of chicken with pan spray and place in the hot pan. Grill on one side for about three minutes and turn. Lower heat to medium and cook until completely done, about another three or four minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. Let rest while you assemble the salad.
- In salad plates or wide rimmed bowls, fan out four trimmed Napa cabbage leaves. Then divide the Mâche rosettes or other greens on top of the cabbage. Next divide the bean sprouts on top of the greens. Place a layer of pea shoots over the bean sprouts, holding a few for garnish. Now begin placing each vegetable around the edges of the plate (pear, pepper, celery, carrot, cucumber and radish) leaving a section open for the chicken. Disperse the jalapeno slices randomly over each salad.
- Cut the chicken breasts on the bias and divide between the four plates, placing in the spot you left open.
- Divide the cooked wonton strips over each salad in the center.
- Sprinkle the whole cilantro leaves over each salad and finish with the remainder of the Asian Citrus Vinaigrette (or serve it on the side)
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