The first time I had this salad was back in October of last year. I was in Georgia visiting old friends and they shared this recipe with me. I LOVED it! Not only is it pretty to look at with the red cabbage and green onions, but it tastes FABULOUS. There is so much fun for your mouth - crunchy cabbage and almonds, soft yet firm ramen noodles, and the slight spice of cilantro. The recipe makes a lot: doubling it would definitely feed a crowd. And for a great price! Many of the ingredients are super cheap. I plan to take this next time I'm invited to a potluck.
The dressing comes from a bottle, and while I'm usually more inclined to make my own dressing, I doubt I could top the flavor of this one. It's Ken's Steak House Lite Asian Sesame with Ginger & Soy:
You'll only use 1/2 a bottle for the recipe below, but the flavor of this stuff is amazing. You won't regret having some left over.
This can be made the day before, but I really think it's best the day of (though it does need to chill an hour or so for the flavors to fully develop). I've eaten it 2 days later and still been happy with it. I've been told it holds up left out in the heat on a buffet, but haven't tried that out yet myself.
ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD
serves 6 as a main dish, 8-10 as a side
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded (thinly sliced and chopped)
2-3 cups shredded, cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works!)
3 pkgs. (3 oz each) ramen noodles (Oriental or Chicken flavor are best)
1 bunch green onions, sliced
heaping 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro (about 1/2 a bunch)
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds (plus more for garnish, if desired)
1/2 bottle Ken's Steak House Lite Asian Sesame with Ginger & Soy dressing
In a large bowl, toss chicken with about 1/4 cup of dressing. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds and almonds just until fragrant and light, light brown. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water mixed with ramen flavor packets to a boil. Break ramen into quarters like so:
Add ramen to boiling water and cook for 30 seconds (this is to simply soften the noodles slightly, not cook them); drain and toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Remove to a cutting board and roughly chop the ramen:
Add the cabbage, ramen, onions, cilantro, almonds, and sesame seeds to the chicken in the large bowl. Toss with about 1/2 the bottle of dressing, or to taste. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.