"Chinese" Chicken Salad

I’ve put on a few holiday pounds that are kinda stressing me out, because it’s not even cookie and fudge go-time yet. I haven’t really felt much like cooking lately, or even eating, which is kind of weird. I was craving salad, however, and decided to make a healthier version of that awesomely trashy “Chinese” chicken salad . I’m using “airquotes” because, to my knowledge, this salad has never been consumed or prepared in China or by any Chinese person, ever (and those turncoat Panda Express employees don’t count). It’s “Chinese” because it has sesame seeds and those deliciously ghetto, trans fat-having chow mein noodles (which is redundant, since chow mein is already a type of noodle, and not a fried, crispity thingy that Chun King sells in cans like so much Pik-Nik – it’s like saying “spaghetti pasta”). I guess if you were in a effort-y mood, you could use slice and fry wonton skins to use instead. It would probably be rather kickass if you did.

The salad wasn’t even composed of Asian greens; rather, it was a mix of romaine and that bagged, shredded broccoli/carrot/red cabbage slaw. To make it extra “Chinese” I added scallions sliced thinly on the bias and juicy nuggets of satsuma oranges (no, not the canned mandarin oranges – I’m not that ironic), and dressed it in soy sauce (the thick, black kind), mirin, rice vinegar, orange juice, sesame oil and a little salt and sugar. I bought a half a lemon-pepper rotisserie chicken that Scott graciously shredded for me, then I tossed it in the dressing and sprinkled on some more sesame seeds for good measure. I slipped the last few inches of a hothouse cuke in there, too, sliced on the bias to make it extra Chinese.

I have some trout fillets and am thinking about a lemon balm beurre blanc. Whether or not I feel like making the effort remains to be seen, but at least I’m thinking about food again.