Finished with crunchy chopped peanuts and a rich dressing, this Julienne Chicken Salad recipe makes a lovely meal for two.
Although my teenage son has always liked salad, we’ve reached the point where the word makes him recoil a bit — as if the suggestion of having a salad is code for a too-small, too-light meal. Yet, when I make salads using a variety of veggies along with fruits, creative oils and vinegars and other delightful additions, he’s the first one gobbling it up. And caesar salad remains one of his favorite foods.
When I decided to make this recipe, inspired by a Vietnamese salad I love, I didn’t tell him salad was for lunch. After all, if the word salad is conjuring images of a few spare pieces of lettuce and a couple of sliced tomatoes, then it’s entirely the wrong name for this.
This salad is bold and filling. It’s vibrant and satisfying. And, best of all, he loves it (me too!).
Made with lots of julienne cut veggies and a hearty addition of julienne cut chicken, this salad is pulled together by the easy, quick, homemade dressing. The combination of ingredients is just magic.
This begins with napa cabbage, one of my favorite greens.
If you have leftovers, here’s how else I like to use napa cabbage: I chop it finely and put it in my favorite rice noodle ramen. I also use it in rice bowls, veggie sautees and in salads. We’ve taken to keeping a head in the fridge and removing a few leaves at a time to chop and use.
Julienne cut sweet bell peppers, cucumbers and carrots join the napa cabbage, as do scallions. And then there’s the chicken. I used a baked breast I had in the fridge, but you could use chicken from a rotisserie bird or poached chicken as well.
And finally, the dressing — just whisk it together and pour it over.
This salad is finished off with a sprinkling of chopped peanuts, which adds a nice crunch.
Speaking of crunches, if you like spice you can also drizzle on a little Trader Joe’s Crunchy Chili Onion.
In the end, my son loved this salad. And I feel like I got a teensy step closer to remedying the unexpected and unnecessary stigma about salads with him. I’ll keep working on it. After all, there’s so much to love about a good salad.
- 1 cup finely shredded napa cabbage
- 1 cup julienne cut sweet bell pepper (red, orange or yellow)
- 1 cup julienne cut cucumbers
- 1 cup warm julienne cut chicken
- 1/4 cup julienne cut carrots
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- chopped peanuts (garnish)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the napa cabbage, sweet bell pepper, cucumbers, chicken, carrots and scallion until thoroughly mixed.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lime juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and honey until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes and toss again.
- Divide evenly between two plates. Top with chopped peanuts (as few or as many as you like!). Serve immediately.