- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Inexpensive, shelf-stable, quick-to-fix ramen noodles have been the staple diet of bachelors nationwide. When I appear on television and radio sharing this chicken salad recipe that contains toasted ramen noodles, often the host will snicker and recount his culinary days as a young single guy who relied heavily on ramen.

This incredible salad, in which you toast the ramen noodles with sliced almonds as a crouton garnish and use the enclosed seasoning packet to flavor a red wine vinaigrette, bears little resemblance to hot ramen noodles microwaved in a college dormitory.

This salad begins with a bag of coleslaw mix and adds shredded chicken from a supermarket rotisserie chicken and fresh cilantro. It is a recipe my sister passed along after I raved about it at her house in Atlanta.

Now, during summer months when the weather is warmer and there’s less interest in cooking, I know I can assemble this quick salad for supper in 15 minutes. And I suppose it’s that same ease of dumping good ingredients into a bowl that makes this recipe so TV-friendly and a flashback to leaner ramen days for those hosts.

Time-shaving tips

• Use leftover chicken in this recipe, or buy a roasted chicken from the supermarket, remove the skin and shred the meat. If the chicken has been rubbed with seasonings, however, you might want to include a little of the skin for flavoring.

• Fresh cilantro adds so much to this recipe, but if you don’t like it or don’t have any on hand, use fresh parsley.

• To save time, toss the almonds and ramen noodles together before toasting.

• Hungry? Add 2 cups cooked pasta of your choice to the salad before adding the vinaigrette.

• If you tote this salad, bring the dressing in a separate container and toss just before serving.

Menu

Asian chicken salad

Crusty bread

Lemonade

Berries and ice cream

Asian chicken salad

The preparation and cooking time is 15 minutes.

1 3-ounce package Oriental-flavor ramen noodle soup mix

½ cup pre-sliced almonds

3/4 cup bottled red wine vinaigrette

1 16-ounce package coleslaw mix or broccoli slaw mix

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

2 scallions, both white and light green parts, chopped to make ½ cup

Break up ramen noodles with your hands, and place them and the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until the noodles and almonds turn light brown, 6 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the red wine vinaigrette into a measuring cup, and stir in the packet of seasoning from the ramen noodle soup mix. Set the salad dressing aside.

Place the slaw mix, chicken, cilantro and scallions in a large serving bowl. Toss to combine the ingredients well.

Just before serving, pour the salad dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Scatter the toasted almonds and noodles on top and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings as a main course.

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

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