Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The 90s Salad Remix
Ah, the Chinese Chicken Salad. Historically speaking your popularity peaked in the 90s along with cesar salad wraps, clear pepsi, snackwells cookies and hackey sack tournaments. Last week when I saw you on the 100th menu I posed the question to myself: in the current state of salads where does this old standard fit in? When we're eating interesting and unique organic ingredients like persimmon and burrata with our greens is there room for this unsophisticated salad? It's pedestrian at best, but we still cant seem to get rid of it! But why? Its not really healthy with all the rice sticks/fried wontons/sicky sweet stick-to-your-fingers dressing. If I could compare this salad to something it would be your best friend's older brother who you thought was SO COOL when you were 9, but now he's grown up and 40 and scratches his butt - and like totally - so what?
Some of my favorite incarnations include: Mo's Restaurant in Burbank, the commissary at Warner Brothers (so spicy!), the Thai Crunch Salad from California Pizza Kitchen, The Grind in Lower Haight in SF. The WORST versions include: Panera Bread, The Creamery in San Fran....the list goes on everyone has a version of this salad and they are mostly played out.....
.....................until it grew up and mutated into the 2011 version of the chinese chicken salad. No longer will it be so ingrained in popular culture that it gets a shout out in a Barenaked Ladies rap.
That is so dated!
I also hate giving recipes for salad and sandwiches, as you know, so just consider this a recommendation instead of a recipe. I got rid of all the calorie laden ingredients that made it so fast food tasting (though delicious!).
Not Your Average Chinese Chicken Salad
Use ingredients to your perfect ratio!
Chicken cooked with Soy Sauce & Sesame Seeds
No Sugar Added canned Mandarin Oranges
Toss with dressing of choice: I chose The Orignal Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing!