Not Quite Cheesecake Factory’s

…but better, cuz it’s mine.

chinese chicken salad

Whenever I go home for the holidays, one of the places my parents like to take us is to The Cheesecake Factory.  I’m not sure why, except that they love the Lettuce Wraps there.  They are nothing like the ones at PF Chang’s, which I think is what people think of when they hear Lettuce Wraps.  TCF makes them with grilled chicken, not minced and tons of different vegetable and noodle fillings.  My sister and I always share the Chinese Chicken Salad and something else.  We’re a family of sharers.  Hubby has learned to accept this.  🙂

Anyway…I was doing some meal planning today and realized 3 out of the 5 meals I’d written down were Asian.  Which isn’t a bad thing and considering I’m Korean, shouldn’t be an odd thing.  But, usually it’s maybe 1 item.  The meals were Chinese Chicken Salad, Asian Meatballs and General Cho’s (or however you want to spell/pronounce it) Chicken.  What’s funny to me…these are very Americanized “Asian” foods. But, I still love ’em. 

I searched the Internet for a good dressing for my salad and came across a TCF copy cat.  I had all the ingredients for the dressing except plum sauce.  I added it and some veggies to my grocery list for the week and decided it would be the first of the Asian meals for the week. 

I started making the dressing for the salad and realized there wasn’t any type of salt.  The dressing was flat.  So, in went some soy sauce.  The sauce was too thin for me – added some canola oil.  What next?  The sauce was too sweet. I tried to balance that out with some chili sauce (Sriracha, or what I like to refer to as Rooster Sauce).  I think my additions really helped to the balance out the dressing.  My craving was sated.

One of the neat things about the TCF salad is the crispy rice noodles on top. I bought some saifun noodles and tried to fry them, but I had no luck.  I’m not exactly sure what happened…maybe I bought the wrong noodles?  Regardless, I already had a back up plan.  Fried wonton skins.  Oh yeah baby.  These suckers are addictive.  Just look at them.

crispy won ton skins
who wouldn’t want to crunch on these babies?

These are so easy to make.  Buy the won ton wrappers – the small square ones – cut them into strips and fry them in some oil.  Then, crunch away!

I’m submitting this post to A Southern Grace’s Beat The Heat event. We’re supposed to pick our “very best dish, that requires no heat to prepare”.  Ummm…1) my blog is really new and 2) it’s alot of baked stuff.  BUT! I had one dish I love, that I’ve shared here. (Can we ignore that I fried the wontons???) The deadline is this Friday, August 8th and I just read about the event today (Thursday, August 7th).  So…here you go Grace!  My entry into “Beat The Heat”!

Chinese Plum Salad Dressing
Adapted from this Chinese Plum Salad Dressing
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1-2 teaspoons ginger, grated (depending on your taste)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon plum sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili sauce
pepper (to taste)

Boil the sugar and vinegar for about one minute.  Add the ginger and boil for another minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a small mixing bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Pour over salad.

My salad was made up of rotisserie chicken marinated in the dressing, cole slaw mix, snow peas, green onions, broccoli slaw, shredded romaine and crispy wonton skins.  I used one tablespoon to marinate my chicken and probably 3 tablespoons for the salad you see above.  This was not a TCF size salad, so you don’t need to use all of the dressing.  I stored the rest of mine in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch.  😉

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2 Responses

  1. Oh, heavens! That does look better than cheesecake factory. I must make this as soon as possible or else I’ll explode from cravings.

  2. Erin, you must make this. It’s so tasty! Especially for lunch the next day. 🙂

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