Spring brings warmer weather and lighter, healthier meals. After a winter of warming soups and satisfying comfort food, salads make a welcome reappearance to the dinner table. Fast days suddenly become so much easier – a smoothie, a salad and bottles of sparkling mineral water to keep well hydrated.
This particular salad is a very old favourite. Straight from the back of the packet of Chang’s Original Fried Noodles with a few minor adjustments. Crisp and crunchy it’s infamous and addictive, making a regular, if not iconic, appearance at Australian picnics, barbeques and family gatherings. The addition of a little shredded, poached chicken rounds out the salad to a more substantial meal.With or without chicken it truly is delicious. Just remember not to add the noodles until ready to serve. In my books there really is nothing more unappetising than soggy noodles.
Oriental Cabbage Salad With Shredded Chicken
Serves 10 cups (262 calories per cup)
500g poached chicken, shredded (600 calories)
10 cups Chinese wombok (Napa) cabbage, about 1 small head, finely shredded (110 calories)
6 long green spring onions (scallions), finely sliced (30 calories)
100g slivered almonds, lightly toasted (576 calories)
1 packet Chang’s Fried Noodles,100g, about 2 cups (500 calories)
3 tablespoons white vinegar (20 calories)
2 tablespoons caster sugar (90 calories)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (9 calories)
5 tablespoons olive oil (600 calories)
2 teaspoons sesame oil (80 calories)
WHISK all the dressing ingredients in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
COMBINE the shredded cabbage and chicken, sliced spring onions and toasted almonds in a salad bowl.
ADD dressing and mix well.
JUST before serving add the noodles and toss thoroughly.
To Shred Cabbage
CUT the cabbage in half. To remove the thick white core section from the centre of each half, lay cabbage flat side down on the board and cut a “v” in the centre. Turn over and ease the core out.
USING a large, sharp knife, cut the cabbage into very fine shreds, working from one end.
To Poach Chicken
PLACE chicken in a shallow pan. Cover with cold water.
ADD aromatics – I like to use a thumb sized piece of ginger, a little green spring onion, sea salt and a sprinkling of whole peppercorns.
BRING to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until almost cooked through.
REMOVE pan from heat. Stand for 5 minutes before removing chicken from poaching liquid. Cool. Shred.