I'm not usually one for spicy foods. Sue and her daughter, Kenzie, love them. Me....I'm more about things that don't leave my lips or tongue on fire.
Personal choice, I suppose.
This salad though was one Sue and I both agreed was spicy but not enough to melt your face. It would be easy enough to increase or decrease the amount of heat to suit your tastes just by altering the amount of Chinese Chili Garlic Paste you add in OR adding less/more dressing to your salad.
Overall, we both really loved this salad.
Mark this day on your calendar... Sue and I shared a mutual enjoyment of a recipe.
Spicy Chinese Chicken Salad
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp Chinese chili garlic paste
1/3 cup light mayo
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup light soy sauce
3/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup water
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bag of coleslaw mix (Approx 5 - 6 cups)
1 cup snow peas, trimmed, cut in half
1 15 oz can Mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 pkg of Mr. Noodles noodles (or Ichiban noodles), crushed
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
In a medium bowl, mix sugar, chili garlic paste, mayo, and ginger. Stir well. Add soy sauce and rice vinegar. Mix until well blended.
Scoop 1/4 cup of mixture into a container with a lid. Place the chicken breasts into the container and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate for at about an hour.
Place remaining dressing into a saucepan. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and water. Whisk until cornstarch is dissolved. Pour cornstarch mixture into dressing while stirring constantly.
Set saucepan over medium-high heat. Let boil approx 2 minutes, while stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and refrigerate until cool. (At least an hour)
Remove marinated chicken from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350. Place chicken in shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with cookin spray. Bake for approx 30 minutes - until chicken is completely cooked.
Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Slice chicken into bite sized pieces. (Or you can shred the chicken if you prefer.)
To assemble your salad: On individual serving plates (or bowls), place a generous handful of coleslaw mix. Drizzle with a little of the dressing. Sprinkle with some of the chopped snow peas and then some of the drained Mandarin oranges. Top with some of the cooked chicken. Then sprinkle with some of the crushed noodles and green onions. Finish by drizzling on more of the dressing.
You can, of course, prepare this in a large bowl instead of on individual serving dishes. I just thought it looked prettier when prepared individually. Plus, then each person can decide how much of the spicy dressing they want.
I love that this has so much flavor but it is still a healthy choice for lunch (or dinner). If you don't want to use the crushed noodles for a garnish you could substitute almonds or anything similar. I suppose you could leave that particular garnish out entirely but I think the salad would suffer for it. It needs that crunchy bite in there to add to the texture.
If you give this a try let us know what you think. Too spicy? Not spicy enough?
What changes would you make?