Sam Choy's Asian Macadamia Chicken Salad with fried noodles
From "Sam Choy's Island Flavors"
- 4 boneless chicken breast halves (skin left on), 8 ounces each
- Asian chicken marinade, recipe below
- 2 cups oil, for deep-frying
- 1-ounce package rice noodles
- 12 wonton wrappers
- 1 medium head iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 2 cups won bok (Chinese cabbage) or napa cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup thin julienned red bell pepper
- 1 cup thin julienned yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced (diagonally) green onions
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 cup whole macadamia nuts
- Sweet-and-sour cucumber vinaigrette, see recipe, optional
- 1 head leaf lettuce, leaves separated, for salad bed
- 4 sprigs cilantro, coarsely chopped
1. Cover the chicken with the marinade, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Heat the oil in a wok until hot but not smoking (350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer). Drop in the rice noodles and remove as soon as they puff up. (Don't brown them.) Drain on paper towels and break into bite-size pieces when cool. Set aside.
3. Cut the wonton wrappers into strips and deep-fry them until golden brown in the same oil you used for the noodles. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
4. As soon as everything else is done, and the iceberg lettuce and other vegetables are sliced, chopped and refrigerated, you can cook the chicken. Fry breasts (skin on) in 2 tablespoons of oil until they are golden brown. Start on high heat, then finish on medium. After you turn the heat down, you can baste the chicken with marinade. Continue basting, using about 1/2 cup of marinade in all, until the liquid is absorbed and chicken is nicely browned. When done, let cool to room temperature and cut into strips.
5. Toss shredded lettuce, cabbage, bean sprouts and remaining vegetables together with the chicken and bite-size pieces of rice noodles in a mixing bowl. Add half the macadamia nuts and half the fried wonton strips, and toss with the salad, reserving remaining nuts and wonton strips for garnish.
6. Arrange a bed of your favorite leaf lettuce on individual salad plates. Use 1/4 of the remaining macadamia nuts, 1/4 of the remaining wonton strips, and a spring of cilantro to garnish each salad.
Asian chicken marinade: Blend 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1 tablespoon brown sugar and set aside. Mix together 1 cup each soy sauce and salad oil; 1/4 cup each minced fresh cilantro and mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine); 2 tablespoons each minced fresh garlic, peeled and minced fresh ginger, and thinly sliced green onion; 1 teaspoon each sesame oil and salt, and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the marinade, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Makes 2 3/4 cups.
Sweet-and-sour cucumber vinaigrette: Blend 1 cup each white wine vinegar and grated cucumbers, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1 1/2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger and pinch of salt until sugar dissolves. Chill. Makes 2 cups.