Lemon Ginger Chicken Salad

This is a fantastic recipe.  It’s great for luncheons, showers, and even dinner on hot, summer nights…  From Maui Cooks Again, by Gini Baldwin, Judy Bisgard, Judy Furtado, Zelie Harders, Carol Hartley, and Penny James.

1 T. minced lemon zest
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
2 T. ginger syrup*
1 T. shoyu
½ tsp. Chinese chili sauce
2 T. grated fresh ginger, lightly packed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. vegetable oil
½ t. salt

10 wonton skins, cut into ¼” strips
1 c. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
10 large romaine leaves
1 c. shredded carrots
¼ c. chopped green onion

*Ginger syrup can be taken directly from a bottle of preserved ginger, or made by cooking together 2 t. sugar, 2 t. water and 1 tsp grated ginger.
In a small jar, combine ingredients for the dressing. Cover tightly, shake vigorously and refrigerate.
In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over moderate heat until it just begins to smoke. Cook the won ton strips in several batches until light golden brown, about 1 min.
Drain on paper towels.
Gently poach chicken until tender. Cool and slice chicken into thin slices. Set aside.
Stack the romaine leaves and roll up from the long side into a tight cylinder. Slice the roll at 1/8” intervals. Transfer the lettuce to a large salad bowl.
Add the carrots, green onions, and the chicken. Shake the dressing, pour it over the salad and toss. At the last minute, gently fold in the won ton strips. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Personal notes: If I’m making this ahead, I’ll marinate the sliced, cooked chicken in some of the dressing in the refrigerator until I toss the whole thing together. Also, I never fold in the wonton strips because they fall apart and soak up the dressing, becoming soggy (yuck). I just sprinkle them on top and put out an additional bowl of them so that you can add them to your salad as you eat them.

For the Luau version, I simply left out the chicken; the lemon zest in the dressing lets this salad stand out on its own.


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