Friday, June 7, 2013

Chinese Cabbage Salad

I've already shared a family recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad.  This one is a little different.  It uses Napa cabbage instead of lettuce and has a great crunchy topping made up of ramen noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds.  In case you were wondering, Napa cabbage (or Chinese cabbage) looks like this:

 image source

Most grocery stores carry it, but if you can't find it for some reason, you can substitute a head of green cabbage.

There are lots of variations of this cabbage salad.  Some include peanuts or peanut oil, others don't add chicken.  This is my favorite version so far and it comes from Your Homebased Mom.  I've only adapted it slightly.  Leigh Anne recommends using the leftovers of a rotisserie chicken (good flavor that way), but I had some diced cooked chicken already on hand.

CHINESE CABBAGE SALAD
slightly adapted from Your Homebased Mom

Topping:
1 pkg. chicken flavored ramen noodles
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Salad:
1 large head Napa cabbage (about 2 1/2 lbs.), chopped
6 green onions, chopped
2 1/2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 can mandarin oranges, drained; optional

Dressing:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil

Break up the ramen noodles into small pieces, reserve the flavor packet.  Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet; add the noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown.  Watch it carefully so the sesame seeds don't burn.  Stir in the flavor packet and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine chopped cabbage, green onions, mandarin oranges (if using) and chicken.  In a jar or resealable container, add dressing ingredients and shake to combine.  Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with crunchy topping.

Alternately, you can serve the dressing on the side.


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