Thanks to BJ Brewhouse for this recipe.
I don’t know about you but I expect certain things in an Asian Salad; cabbage (red and savoy or Napa), Mandarin oranges, almonds, green onions just to name a few.
BJ Brewhouse use to have to best Asian salad but for some reason they changed their cabbages to lettuce and that does not work in an Asian salad for me so I no longer order it. Recently I ordered an Asian salad from Pei Wei (owned by Pf Changs). Not good and I told them about it (not in person of course; I do not have that much nerve). Their salad was made of lettuce, and tomatoes. I’ve never had an Asian salad with tomatoes and it didn’t even have an Asian salad tase. It was more like a “house” salad that they threw in some fried wonton strips and called it a day. No longer will we be going to that restaurant either. I’m really not that picky I don’t think.
Maybe we should just stay home and eat and quit going out all together. But, if we did that then I’d miss some pretty good meals we have had (traveling mostly) that I can recreate at home.
My sister happened to find BJ’s original recipe that their chef had given to a magazine. So, with a few of my own additions, I came up with this version. I really like serving a peanut sauce with Asian salad to serve along with the ginger soy dressing that gets tossed with the salad.
The almonds and sesame seeds both need to be toasted and I fry my own won ton strips; just couldn’t make myself pay almost $3 for a small bag already fried.
For the chicken I had my husband through some thighs on the grill and then chopped up and refrigerated until ready to serve the salad. The Thai Peanut Dressing came from gimmesomeoven.com.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: My sister and I make some of the best egg rolls I’ve tasted. If you are up for the challenge, give them a try.
Mix the cabbages, pepper, carrots and green onions together. Top with the grilled chicken and toasted almonds.
Mix up the sesame dressing and add enough to the salad to coat and then add in the toasted almonds.
Serve the peanut dressing on the side for your guest to drizzle themselves.
I had a few violas growing in my hard and used them to garnish the salad.
Asian Salad with Chicken
- 1/2 head Napa cabbage shredded (or savoy)
- 1 c. shredded or julienned carrots
- 1/2 head red cabbage finely shredded or chopped
- 1/2 c. toasted almonds
- 1 large red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 bunch green onions thinly sliced
- 1-2 cans mandarin oranges drained
- 2-3 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- Grilled chicken dark or white meat
- Fried wonton strips
- 6 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 6 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
Thai Peanut Dressing:
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari*
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons water or coconut milk if needed
Grill or baked the chicken and chop and refrigerate until ready to assemble salad.
In a large bowl combine the cabbages, carrots, pell pepper, green onions, and almonds. Add enough of the sesame dressing to coat salad. Add in the sesame seeds, oranges and a few wonton strips. Serve the peanut dressing on the side for drizzling. Serve extra wonton strips for garnishing.
For Sesame Dressing: Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to assemble the salad.
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until evenly combined. If you would like to thin out the dressing, add in a few tablespoons of water or coconut milk until the dressing reaches your desired consistency.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
Thai Peanut Dressing courtesy of gimmesomeoven.com.