Monday, July 22, 2013

Mandarin and Cranberry Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad with oranges and cranberries!
I've had this salad many different ways but this is my favorite way to have it. I use cabbage, Ramen Oriental Noodles, sliced almonds and mandarin oranges and dried cranberries. I make the dressing with oil and rice vinegar and sugar and the noodle seasoning packet. It always turns out delicious, crispy and fresh looking. And the best part will feed a huge crowd!
I love this crunchy Chinese Chicken salad! You can add green onion to each serving if you like it. 
I like that it is super easy and quick too. When I'm not in a cooking mood I usually pick up a cabbage and have some chicken breasts in the freezer, and those ramen noodles last for like 10 years in your pantry so I buy them in bulk.... a whole box at a time. We usually use them up in a year.  I also buy all my nuts  from Costco in bulk, so I know I've got my ingredients on hand.

Mandarin oranges, Ramen noodles raw, sliced almonds and dried cherries go into my Chinese Chicken Salad. I got dried fruits at the downtown Farmer's Market.. ...Yum! 

Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe
1 medium cabbage chopped coarsely
2 packages ramen noodles broken up (oriental style) reserve the 2 packets of sauce mix
1 larger or 2 small cans mandarin oranges (add them just before tossing salad)
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries
3 chicken breasts cooked and diced into chunks
green onion for garnish.

This dressing is really flavorful and tart....
Delicious Asian Dressing

2/3 cup canola oil (I've used olive oil and I don't like it as much)
1/3 to 1/2 cup rice vinegar (or apple cider or red wine vinegar but I prefer the rice vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar
2 seasoning packets from the Oriental Ramen
pepper to taste
1 Teaspoon of lemon or lime juice (optional) for a zingy flavor
A shake of Lawry's season salt if needed (or Johnny's season salt - get at Costco)

Break up the Ramen Noodles in the chopped cabbage and fruit and sliced almonds...

Then add the dressing  and chicken for the Chinese Chicken Salad, and toss a few times! 
That's it!
Whisk the dressing  up in a small bowl till sugar is dissolved. Taste it.. if it is not flavorful enough add a dash of rice vinegar...not sweet enough add a shake of sugar, not seasoned enough add a shake of Lawry's Season Salt.  I can't remember a time I have not messed a little with homemade dressing of any kind. You get better at it the more you make it.
These plates are so cute for a summer Chinese Chicken Salad, aren't they?
Here is my finished salad. It's delicious on a warm, fall day when you don't want to cook!  Great with homemade muffins or some rustic, crusty bread and butter.And how do you like my new stoneware? It's from Smiths Marketplace!  I bought a set of 12 with bowls too. I think they will look cute in the Spring and Summer for dinner parties. It was a buck a plate! I think it's so pretty! Boo yah!

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