Difficulty Rating: Medium to Hard (lots of chopping and frying)
Chinese Chicken Salad swept the nation starting in the 1970's and 80's. That sounds funny--I get the picture of a truck-load of the stuff being dumped at every corner in every city! HA!It is unique, however, in that it has retained it's popularity. Like carrot cake, it has many devotees--and is wonderful for a simple lunch, brunch, or summer dinner. Since I posted the "Ming's Beef" from Ming's Restaurant in Palo Alto, I thought I'd better post their amazing, not-too-sweet-but-sweet-enough Chinese Chicken Salad. It was the first CCS I ever tried, and dang, it's good! So many of the others are just tooooo sweeeet! I got it off of "Askville.com" --the recipe was contributed by none other than bald food expert/actor Telly Savalas some years ago. He had it at Ming's and liked it too!
1 lb. chicken breast, boned.
Oil for deep-frying
1/3-1/2 pkg. rice sticks
1/2 t Chinese mustard
1 C hoisin sauce
2 T crushed almonds (I use peanuts)
1 T sesame seeds
1 head lettuce, shredded ( do by hand, not food processor)
4 sprigs (or more to taste) minced cilantro
Note: I put a T finely chopped green onions in there, but it isn't part of the original recipe.
Deep-fry chicken 5 minutes, until crisp and golden. Drain. cut into lengthwise, julienned strips.
Skin should be left on for added flavor. Drop rice sticks into hot oil and rmove with slotted spoon as soon as they rise to the surface--which will be almost immediately. Drain on a paper towel on in a dish. Combine chicken with mustard, hoisin sauce, nuts, salt and sesame seeds in a salad bowl. Mix well. To serve, add fried rice sticks, shredded lettuce and cilantro. Toss, but not too much or it will get soggy!