Thursday, June 21, 2012

Light and Crunchy for Summer

Summer is in full swing here in Illinois.  We've been sweltering in the mid to upper 90s for about a week.  I know that is routine in many parts of the U.S., but here in northern Illinois, it's above average for June.

One nice thing about the coming of summer is that it's time for lighter foods. One of our favorites is Chinese chicken salad.  The name is no doubt completely erroneous -- the Chinese probably would deny all knowledge of this dish -- but it does have a little bit of an Asian flair.

This salad is easy to make, especially once the chicken is cooked and shredded.  If you want to make life really easy (after all, it is summer), you could make the dish with rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, but I have never tried that.  I stick with chicken breasts that I braise in a little water and shred as soon as they are cool enough to handle.

I prefer this salad as a combination of cool and warm ingredients.  When I assemble the salad, the cabbage is cold, the chicken is usually about room temperature, and the noodles and almonds are still quite warm.  You can have everything chilled if you prefer or if you want to prepare all the ingredients in advance.  It is important not to dress the salad until immediately before serving, however, or the noodles will lose their crunch.

Chinese Chicken Salad

4 cups (approximate) chicken breast, cooked, shredded
1/2 medium/large head cabbage, chopped
10 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup butter
2 packages Ramen noodles, crushed
1/4-1/2 cup slivered almonds

Dressing (whisk all together):
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar

Mix chicken, cabbage, and green onions together in a large bowl. 

Melt butter in non-stick skillet.  Add crushed noodles and almonds.  Cook, stirring frequently, until nicely browned.

Add noodles to chicken/cabbage mixture.  Toss to mix.  Add dressing.  Toss to mix.  Serve immediately.


  1. Very unique combination! Love the mix of ingredients and temperatures! xoxo

  2. This sounds perfect! I am so into something lighter these days. My Husband would like it too. I wouldn't want to have heat with humidity. We go out on the grass under the trees and it's quite nice even in the 90's. Stay cool!

  3. I have tried recipes similar to this but not with chicken....will definately save this recipe to try!

  4. This is a fantastic meal for summer. I'll admit that I've been having my share of salads in this sweltering heat. The one you've prepared sounds and looks quite delicious and simple to make. :-)

  5. My kind of summer recipe! I'm having a pool party next weekend and this looks like it would be perfect.

  6. What a great looking salad. I love the way it would have so much crunch. And yes, this is a great meal to enjoy when the weather is so hot xx

  7. Yum! Going to get some cabbage for this recipe on Sat at the farmers market. Thanks.

  8. This looks so good to me right now!
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  9. I love lighter foods in summer, too, and will try just about anything that has the words chicken and salad in it. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing. I also cook and shred my own chicken. It is a little time consuming but always so worth the effort.

  10. YUM! I love salads in the summer. Especially when I am thirsty:)

  11. My cousin makes something very similar. Salads in the summer are awesome!!!

  12. We have been having the same heat wave in Quebec. Definitely not usual June weather. I don't feel like cooking or eating in this heat, but salads are the way to go. This one, as all your recipes, looks great!

  13. This salad looks perfect for the hot summer weather. Yummy!

  14. Yes, the heat is really oppressive, but this salad sounds perfect for a summer dinner.

  15. This is something that I will try. I love the crunchiness of the noodles and almonds.

    xoxo Bunny Jean

  16. Sounds lovely! And looks really easy to make.
    I wish I could say the same about the weather here in the UK. We practically did not have a Spring :(

  17. looks really good, I will try it!

  18. I love this salad - your recipe is a little different than mine - the recipe that I have doesn't use almonds - your recipe sounds better.

  19. Lynette, this recipe is a hit here! The only thing I changed was to serve grilled chicken breast along side instead of in the salad, since I have to watch my portions. Thanks again. Debbie O

  20. I never use cabbage for cooking... this is a good start!

  21. I have been using sesame oil a lot lately in recipes. This sounds fantastic! Thanks for posting it.


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