A delightfully light chicken salad with just the right amount of crunch. I make this quite regularly as it's easy and really refreshing. And, ok, I'm addicted to it. ;o) If you can't get Napa cabbage, try iceberg lettuce, but don't use savoy cabbage or anything else; they're way too firm. Don't skip the exploding maifun rice noodles which are the hallmark of this salad. They can be found in any Asian market and some larger supermarkets. Dynasty is one brand of Maifun, aka rice sticks.
FOR THE SALAD
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 4 teaspoons teriyaki sauce (or 1 tablespoon soy sauce plus 1 tsp. oyster sauce)
- 1 head napa cabbage
- 2 -3 stalks green onions, diagonally sliced thin
- 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (you can optionally toast them)
- 1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 3 ounces dried rice noodles ("Maifun" rice stick noodles at Asian markets)
- vegetable oil (for deep frying the rice sticks, about 3/4 cup)
FOR THE DRESSING
- 1⁄8 cup light sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 1⁄8 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (if white vinegar, can use less)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
FOR THE GARNISH
- fried wonton wrapper (strips) (optional)
- Parboil the chicken until cooked through. Let cool. Tear into very small pieces with your fingers (easier than cutting and looks better!) and stir fry with the teriyaki sauce for one minute. Set aside.
- *** OR, you could cut the raw chicken up into 1-2" cubes and stir-fry with the teriyaki sauce until done, then shred by hand when cool.
- Chop, not tear, the Napa cabbage into roughly 1/4" x 2" strips. Add the green onion, almond slivers, sesame seeds, cilantro and chicken and gently toss.
- Heat the vegetable oil to 375F degrees. Test a couple of maifun noodles by dropping them in the hot oil; if they “explode” immediately, your oil is hot enough. Deep fry the remaining maifun noodles in batches (they puff up to 5 times their original size) and drain on paper towels. Be gentle… they’re fragile.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in cruet and shake well. To serve, very gently fold noodles into salad, then add dressing at the last minute to maintain salad crispness. Top with fried wonton wrapper strips.