I guess I have never been too modest when it comes to labeling my recipes. The Best French Toast, The Perfect Pancakes, The Ultimate Guacamole. But this time I am not to blame for the overzealous title. Although, I will vouch for it.
With the Chinese New Year right around the corner, why not celebrate with an American Chinese Classic that has been turned up a notch. It’s all you ever dreamed about in a salad, plus more! With the addition of fresh avocado and crunchy asparagus, this is not your ordinary Chinese take-out.
I discovered this recipe when I was looking for new ways to use my cabbage. I had failed miserably with a batch of cabbage rolls (Freddie was not a fan!). But then I go and make something like this, and totally redeem myself (must be said in the voice of Harry from Dumb and Dumber)!
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2 navel oranges
6 cups shredded green cabbage
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
Soy-ginger dressing (recipe follows)
1 large avocado, cubed
Fried wonton strips
4 green onions (including green tops), sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1. In a 2-3 quart pan over high heat, bring about 1 quart water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, then plunge asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
2. Cut off and discard ends from oranges. Following the curve of the fruit, cut off peel and outer membrane. Slice oranges crosswise unto 1/4-inch-thick rounds, then cut these rounds into quarters. Set aside.
3. In a large serving bowl, toss the cabbage, chicken, and asparagus with the dressing. Top with avocado, orange slices, and wonton strips, then garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Soy-ginger dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce and 1 1/2 teaspoons jarred chopped ginger. Slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup vegetable oil, whisking constantly.
The original recipe walks you through making your own wonton strips. It sounds super easy but my local market sells pre-made ones that are prepared fresh daily. It makes the salad that much quicker to throw together. By the same token, I happened to make some fresh pan seared chicken breasts that I cup up into chunks, but you can always use some store-bought rotisserie chicken to help speed up the process even more.
This salad makes about 6-8 servings and is great as a side dish or main course. For a full meal, I like to serve mine with homemade vegetable fried rice and potstickers. It’s the best Chinese “take-in” around :)