Saturday, February 20, 2010

Recipe for Sandee's Sensational Asian Salad with Chicken and Cabbage

Asian Salad with Chicken and Cabbage
When I talked about all the good cooks in the Denny family and shared my photos for Superbowl Party Food 2010, right away people started requesting the recipe for this salad my sister Sandee made. Sandee gave me the recipe over the phone, and then I used all cabbage (no carrots) and left out the crunchy ramen noodles to make the salad suitable for the Phase One Recipes Index, but I'll tell you what to do if you want to duplicate her salad more closely. Either way, this is a delicious salad that's crunchy and flavorful, perfect for lunch or even as a side dish to grilled meat or fish.

Trim the visible fat and tendons from two boneless, skinless chicken breasts. (I save the scraps to make chicken stock.)

Poach the chicken in water with a little poultry seasoning for flavor. Cook chicken until it's firm to the touch, about 20 minutes, then drain and let cool.

Sandee's dressing recipe used the seasoning packet from a package of chicken-flavored ramen noodles. These noodles do have MSG, and after I wrote about MSG for BlogHer, I've been convinced it's safe. If you don't want to use the ramen noodle packet, I'd substitute a little bit of a natural chicken soup base like the Better Than Bouillon Organic chicken base in the photo.

Stir together the Ramen packet or soup base, rice vinegar, Splenda, Stevia in the Raw, or sugar, salt, and pepper, and then whisk in the oil.

Sandee used coleslaw mix to make her salad, which has a bit of added carrot, but I wanted this salad to be phase one so I just used fresh cabbage and chopped it by hand.

Add sliced green onions to the chopped cabbage or coleslaw mix.

By now the chicken will be cool enough to dice it into smallish pieces.

Mix the diced chicken into the cabbage/green onions, add dressing until salad is as wet as you prefer, and toss to combine.

Toast slivered almonds in a dry pan about 90 seconds, add sesame seeds and toast about 60 seconds more.

Then add the toasted almonds and sesame seeds into the salad and toss again. (This is when you would add the packet of crushed dry ramen noodles if you're using it like Sandee did.) Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve.

Sandee's Sensational Asian Salad with Chicken and Cabbage
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe adapted by my sister Sandee from several sources.)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning (optional, for poaching water)
4 cups thinly sliced and chopped cabbage (or use 4 cups purchased coleslaw mix)
1/2 cup sliced green onion (or less, I like a lot of onion)
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted in dry pan
2 T sesame seeds, toasted in dry pan
1 pkg. dry ramen noodles, crushed (leave out ramen noodles for South Beach Diet but save seasoning packet for dressing)

Dressing Ingredients:
2 1/2 T rice vinegar ( or more, to taste)
2 T Splenda, Stevia in the Raw, or sugar (use Splenda, Stevia, or other approved sweetener for South Beach Diet)
chicken ramen noodle seasoning packet (or use about 1/4 tsp. chicken flavor base)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
4 T olive oil + 2 T canola oil

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts. Then fill a small frying pan with water, whisk in poultry seasoning, add chicken breasts and cook at a very low simmer until chicken is firm to the touch and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool.

While chicken cooks, mix together rice vinegar, Splenda or sugar, chicken ramen packet or chicken soup base, salt, and pepper, the whisk in the oil, one tablespoon at a time. Taste dressing to see if you want a little more vinegar, and when it's flavored to your liking set aside to let the flavors blend.

Thinly slice and then chop enough green cabbage to make about 4 cups chopped cabbage (or use 4 cups packaged coleslaw mix.) Add cabbage to large bowl. Slice green onions and add to cabbage.

As soon as chicken is cool, dice into small pieces (less than 1/2 inch square) and add to cabbage mixture. Add dressing until the salad is as wet as you prefer, then toss to combine. (You may not need all the dressing.)

In a large dry frying pan, toast the almonds over low heat, about 90 seconds, or until almonds start to be fragrant. Add sesame seeds and toast about 60 seconds more, or until nuts and seeds are barely starting to brown.

Add toasted almonds and sesame seeds to salad, toss again to combine, season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and serve.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Made with all cabbage (no carrots), using Splenda, and leaving out the crushed ramen noodles, this salad would be approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet. If you used the coleslaw mix but still used Splenda and left out the ramen noodles, it would still be a pretty good South Beach Diet friendly choice, since there isn't much carrot in that packaged coleslaw mix.

More Cabbage Salad Recipes You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Napa Cabbage and Red Cabbage Salad with Fresh Herbs and Peanuts from Kalyn's Kitchen
Greek Cabbage Salad with Feta and Thyme from Kalyn's Kitchen
Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad with Tangy Cilantro Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad from Simply Recipes
Asian Cabbage Salad from Andrea Meyers
Gingered Chicken and Napa Cabbage Salad from The Perfect Pantry
Spicy Cabbage Salad (Goi Bap Cai) from Viet World Kitchen
Cabbage Salad with Lime and Fresh Oregano from Gluten Free Bay
Greek Cabbage Salad from Mama's Taverna
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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More to Chew On:


  1. My grandmother made this exact salad often (she called it fumi salad). It was one of the few things that everyone loved, and a giant tupperware container of it would quickly disappear.

    I make it from time to time without the Ramen noodles, and sometimes I throw in a diced jalapeno for an added kick. I've also used sunflower seeds when I don't have almonds, and I love it both ways.

  2. That looks delicious and perfect for a potluck, because most cabbage salads taste better the longer they sit with their dressing. I can see how the ramen noodles would add some welcome crunch, so maybe I'd have to sneak a few on top for garnish!

  3. I have made this salad for years and I sometimes brown the ramen noodles with the almonds to give it even more of a crunch. I have used peanuts or cashews when I did not have almonds and sometimes I throw in some sunflower seeds just because they are good. Its also good with chinese pork or left over turkey.

  4. Do you know the calorie count by serving?

  5. Do you know the calorie count by serving?

  6. I have become a fan of all types of cabbage slaw. The dressing soften and tenderizes the cabbage. There are so many variations you can come up with, and this one looks like a winner.

  7. I like the idea of adding something a bit spicy to this salad.

    I chose South Beach because I didn't want to count calories, so I have no idea what the calorie count would be.

  8. Oh my gosh! That looks insanely delicious! Now I really can't wait for spring break because I will most certainly be using my kitchen to whip up that recipe! :D

  9. This salad sounds really good! I like the use of the ramen noodles like this.

  10. See, this is exactly the kind of recipe I would see at a potluck and dive right into. I love this kind of thing but, because I don't cook Asian much, I don't know how to make. I love these kinds of dishes. I'm printing this one out!

  11. Will the recipe for the pork and green chile stew make an appearance soon too?

  12. Julie I asked for that recipe but didn't get it yet.

  13. I replace 2T of oil with 1T of sesame oil and 1T soy sauce. It adds a more Asian flavor.

  14. Cheryl, that sounds like it would be good.

  15. I've made this recipe before, using nice fresh cooked shrimp, rather than the chicken. And definitely sesame oil. Delicious... thanks, Kalyn

  16. My family has always made something similar when we have leftover roasted chicken or turkey. Try it with napa cabbage and sesame oil/soy sauce/vinegar, with some cilantro sprinkled in

  17. I love Asian salad. And this one looks just perfect. I love your inclusion of ramen noodles!

  18. I found your website a few months ago but didn't add it to my favorites until today. I just wasn't ready to make a commitment to "healthy" cooking and that lifestyle. I LOVE to cook, and LOVE to eat. Lately, I have been feeling really lousy and had a dream that I need to change something or I would regret it. So today I remembered your blog and found it again, and put you on my FAVORITES list!! The food you have is just what I'm looking for--and the best part is, everything looks TASTY! It looks like I'll still get to enjoy my food. Thank you kindly for being a wealth of information and a support (even without you knowing). Congratulations on your success. :)

    I'll be visiting you every day!

  19. This looks really tasty and so healthy! I can't wait to give it a try!

  20. This recipe looks great - you could even substitute Shirataki noodles for the Ramen Noodles. Shirataki noodles are made from yam flour and tofu and have only 20 calories and 3 grams of carbs per serving. They also have 2 g of fiber per serving and they are gluten free. I just discovered them and they are really good and a great alternative to pasta.

  21. Thank you, Sandee! This is my kind of salad and I have a feeling that I would have a very difficult time stopping myself from eating the whole bowl.

  22. This looks delicious! How does it keep? Looks like a great slaw type salad that could be easily available for a quick little meal or snack!

    Definitely trying this as soon as chicken breasts go on sale! Thanks!

  23. The salad will keep in the fridge for a day or two, but it's more crunchy when it's made the same day you eat it.

  24. I made this last night and it was great! I'll be adding this to our "favorites" collection. Delish!

  25. Perfect timing! I have some cabbage left over from a recipe I prepared on Monday AND I treated myself to a Rosie chicken this weekend, so I have some leftovers for this!

  26. This sounds like a perfect dish that's right up my alley-thanks for posting, can't wait to try it!

  27. I feel strongly that everyone should make their own food choices, so I'm not going to publish comments that are critical of ingredients I choose to use. Obviously I wouldn't be using Splenda if I thought it was harmful. If other people feel differently, then they shouldn't use it, especially since the recipe says "Sugar or Splenda."

  28. Beautiful and delicious!Definitely have to try this one!


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