Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chinese Chicken Salad

As you probably know, I love entrée salads!  And now that warmer weather has returned, I can start serving them for dinner!

The inspiration for this dish came from the Okami Chinese Style Salad Kit that Costco carries.  It is really good, and actually not that expensive ($8.99 for a two-pack).  But I can do it slightly cheaper ($5.36) and keep the ingredients on hand by buying them separately.

The kit comes with grilled chicken (8 oz.), wonton strips (1 oz.), sliced almonds (2 oz.), crispy noodles (2 oz.), and sesame dressing (2/3 c.).  (Amounts are approximate, according to my kitchen scale.)  It contains two of each item so you can make two family-sized salads.

According to package directions, you are supposed to add ten ounces of lettuce.  I always use romaine hearts from Costco.  It comes in a six-pack for only $2.99.  I usually use about 1½ hearts of romaine per salad, which comes out to about 12 ounces of lettuce.

I purchase the crispy noodles and almonds from the bulk bins at WinCo.  They don’t carry the wonton strips in the bins, so I have to get them from the salad dressing section when I want them.  I usually just omit them and add more crispy noodles since they are cheaper and contribute a great crunchy texture.

My current go-to Asian dressing is made by Ken’s Steakhouse.  It is called Asian Sesame with Ginger and Soy and is one of their “lite” dressings.  I only buy dressing when it is on sale and usually combine the sale with a coupon, keeping the price down.

You can use any chicken.  I like to use sautéed chicken breasts or chicken that is leftover from other dishes.  Sometimes I buy a Costco rotisserie chicken and use the breast meat.

I normally don’t buy pre-cooked meat from the store, but Costco’s chickens are just so good.  Plus, they only cost $4.99 and are at least 3 pounds!  Grocery store rotisserie chickens cost anywhere from $6 to $8 (over $10 at Whole Foods) and are usually only 1½ pounds, 2 if you’re lucky.

Sometimes I add mandarin oranges to the salad.  Not only does it add some sweetness, but also some great color.

Chinese Chicken Salad (amounts are approximate—just toss some in and adjust accordingly)
12 oz. lettuce, torn
8 oz. chicken, diced
2 oz. sliced or slivered almonds
2/3 c. Asian-style dressing
1 oz. wonton strips
2 oz. crispy noodles
1 can mandarin oranges (optional)

In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, chicken, almonds, and dressing.

Lightly toss in wonton strips, crispy noodles, and mandarin oranges, if using.  Yield:  lots!  (about 25 oz.)  Total cost:  $6.36.

You can also just toss the oranges on top rather than
mixing them in.

I like to send Robbie with salads for lunch.  I just package up the components before I mix them all together.  Be sure to keep crispy items separate from moist ingredients and moist ingredients separate from the lettuce.


Kristin said...

Another great idea! :)
Thanks so much!!!

Anonymous said...

wow, this is great!

Christine from Tracy CA said...

Thank you so much for sharing your chinese chicken salad ideas. I have been looking for something close to the Costco brand because the Costco where I live is so unpredictable and this is a salad that I can get both of my picky eaters to enjoy

Toni said...

Thank you so much! This is much easier than trying to get everything together. I have it all in my frig. and cupboard.

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