When I was a kid, I had a salad that I ordered at Applebee's every time my family went. I felt very grown up and sophisticated ordering from the adult menu, no chicken nuggets for me! I always stated my order proudly and couldn't wait to dive into a bowl of what I thought was a very exotic and adventurous Chinese chicken salad.
I loved everything about that salad! It was crunchy, bright and a balance of sweet and salty that I couldn't get enough of! When the summer temperatures start to climb, I always get a craving for this cool and crunchy salad.
Sadly, as an adult I learned that the salad I used to order had as many calories as a cheeseburger. So I set out to create a salad that would take care of my craving, but stay on the light side!
The real secret to this salad is to make your own dressing. A bottled dressing works in a pinch, but take an extra minute to whip out this sweet, salty, spicy and savory dressing!
Chinese Chicken Salad
Makes 6 servings
For the Dressing:
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (caramel brown in color)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
For the Salad:
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup broccoli slaw
- 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 6 chicken breasts cooked and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 can (15 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Dressing will save in the fridge for 5 days.
In a large bowl, toss all salad ingredients except lime wedges together. Evenly distribute salad between six plates and drizzle with one tablespoon of dressing. Serve each salad with a wedge of lime to be squeezed over salad before eating.