Asian Chicken Salad with Cabbage and Crispy Noodles!

This is the kind of salad that satisfies all your cravings. It’s got sticky and spicy chicken, crispy rice noodles, and crunchy fresh raw veggies. It’s dead easy to prepare and makes for a fabulous dinner idea on a weeknight.

This salad reminds me of something my mom and aunts used to make back in the ’90s it was really trendy and replaced boring old pasta salad, back in the days before the internet and food creativity was oppressively limited. It was this delicious salad made with purple cabbage, crunchy Ramen noodles (the kind from the little packets for instant soup and noodles) and toasted almond slivers. The vinaigrette was made with the spice packet that came with the noodles, sesame seeds and sesame oil.

I used to eat it like it was my last day on earth and I would always try and decide which part was my favourite: the fresh and crunchy cabbage, the crispy noodles or the toasted almonds So I like to think that this is a grown up and more mature (healthier and more creative) version of the Ramen Noodle Salad that was oh so popular back in the day.

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Here’s how to do it!

 

What you’ll need:

  • An assortment of cabbage (purple, green, white) or just one kind, whatever. Shredded on a mandolin, in a food processor or just cut thinly freehand.
  • Some long fresh and green celery stalks cut diagonally in to thin slices
  • Some green scallions chopped
  • A package of rice noodles (preferably pre-cooked ones)
  • Some whole almonds smashed up or almond slivers
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Soya sauce
  • Honey
  • Sesame oil
  • Limes
  • White and black sesame seeds (optional)

What to do:

Cut the chicken breasts into very thin slices and coat well with some soya sauce, honey and black pepper. put in a container or cover a bowl with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the fridge (preferably for a few hours, if possible). Then make your salad. Toss the celery, spring onions and cabbage in a large bowl.  Leave a few large chunks of spring onion aside.

Heat up a flat frying pan for the noodles(If you’ve not got pre-cooked rice noodles, you’ll obviously need to boil them first and drain them well). Put a tiny bit of sesame oil in a hot frying pan and spread the noodles out evenly along the pan surface. Allow the noodles to fry and get slightly golden and crispy, tossing the pan regularly. In another smaller frying pan, dry toast the almonds until they become golden and fragrant. Keep an eye on both the almonds and noodles so that they don’t get too burnt. When the noodles and almonds have cooled down, toss them in with the vegetables.

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Remove the chicken from the fridge and add a tiny bit more sesame oil to the pan you fried the noodles in. Throw in those large chunks of leftover spring onion. Fry the chicken with the onions until it begins to  get a bit charred on each side, shaking the pan regularly. Before add the chicken to the salad, drizzle some sesame oil, soya sauce, honey and lime juice over the salad and toss well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Add the chicken and enjoy!

 

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