Way back in 2012 Sue and I posted our recipe for Spicy Chinese Chicken Salad (Link HERE).
At that time we were still in the beginning learning stages of our blog so we only got 2 photos of the salad and...well....they are just not good. Go ahead, click the link, check it out. It's pretty sad.
Anyway, I was looking back through old posts for something to re-shoot and this recipe jumped out at me. It was so good and was one of the few recipes that Sue and I actually agreed on as being delicious.
I started out just going to remake the recipe as we had written it and take some new pics. But then, seeing as how I am focused on trying to eat a much healthier diet this year, I decided to play with the recipe to see how much more healthy I could make it.
I only made a few changes but enough that I thought it was worthwhile reposting as a new blog. According to MyFitnessPal 1 serving (recipe makes 4) is: 378 calories, 46 carbs, 11 fat, 29 protein, and 5 fiber.
Spicy Chinese Chicken Salad (Take 2)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp Chinese chili garlic paste
1/3 cup light mayo
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup water
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 bag coleslaw mix (approx 6 cups)
4 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 cup snow peas, trimmed, cut in half
4 small mandarin oranges
1/2 pkg Mr. Noodles noodles (or Ichiban), crunched up
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Prepare dressing - In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, garlic paste, mayo, and ginger. Whisk until well combined. Whisk in soy sauce and rice vinegar. Scoop 1/4 cup of the dressing into a container and add in the chicken thighs. Close lid and shake to coat. Let marinade for at least an hour.
Place remaining dressing in a saucepan over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water and then whisk into dressing in pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and refrigerate until cool - at least an hour.
Prepare chicken - Preheat oven to 350. Remove chicken from marinade and place in shallow baking dish. Bake approx 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and cut into strips - or shred if you prefer.
Assemble salad - Toss the coleslaw mix with 1/3 of the dressing.
Line 4 servings bowls/plates with 1 cup spinach.
On each of the 4 servings, place 1 1/2 cups of the coleslaw mix.
Top each with 1/4 cup snow peas, 1 orange (broken into segments), and 1/4 of the crunched noodles.
Place sliced (or shredded) chicken on top, drizzle with a bit more dressing, then sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.
It's a big serving. Trust me, it won't leave anyone hungry.
You can use chicken breasts instead of thighs for a few less calories/fat but I prefer the thighs.
Sometimes tweaking a recipe to be healthier doesn't mean losing any of the flavor or fantabulousness or the original. This is definitely one of those times!
Also, please note - the Chinese chili garlic paste is super spicy. You can definitely use more if you like the heat but I would start at 2 Tbsp and go from there.