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Chinese Chicken Salad With Glazed Walnuts


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  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or Chinese dark rice vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame paste (or peanut butter)
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • SALAD:
  • 4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 small carrot cut matchstick
  • pieces
  • 1/2 cucumber peeled, seeded, and cut matchstick pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (Chinese parsley)
  • 2 tablespoons finely-shredded fresh basil
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 12 wonton wrappers cut 1/4" strips
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves


Servings 6


Step 1

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Set a wok in a ring stand and add oil to a depth of about 2 inches. Heat the oil to 360 degrees and adjust the heat to medium-high. Fry the wonton strips until golden brown, about 15 seconds. Remove them with a skimmer and drain on paper towels.

Place a wide frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add the walnut oil, swirling to coat the surface. Add the sugar, stir until it dissolves, add the walnuts, and stir until the nuts are coated with caramelized sugar. Immediately transfer the walnuts to a foil-covered plate and separate them with two forks.

Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Serve the salad in a wide shallow bowl, surrounded with wonton strips. Scatter the glazed walnuts over the top.

This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.

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