It took a warm weather vacation and my girlfriend’s encouragement for me to take shortcuts with this salad. Until I visited her, I happily did all the chopping, measuring and whisking. But with a vacation mentality I didn’t want to do all the prep even though this salad was exactly what we wanted to eat for dinner. My friend has a Trader Joe’s practically in her backyard and after I described what was in the salad, she suggested a quick trip to buy the ingredients pre-made. Preparation time was cut in half. We actually barely had time to finish our first cocktail by the time we were ready to sit down and eat. My kind of recipe – especially when I am on vacation.
I have included the amounts for the ingredients if you want to prepare everything from whole ingredients instead. We like to eat the salad with the chicken sliced warm off the grill, but it is equally as good chilled.
- Marinade/dressing (see note)
- ½ cup reduced sodium soy sauce (regular soy sauce can be used)
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (1 teaspoon ground ginger can be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (Trader Joe’s 10 ounce package)
- 2 cups shredded or thinly sliced carrots (1/3 of Trader Joe’s 10 ounce package)
- 1 cup roasted cashews
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- 3 Tablespoons chopped green onions
- Whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, vegetable oil, brown sugar, ginger and garlic; measure ½ cup and put in a dish suitable for marinating or in a re-sealable plastic bag. Reserve remaining marinade/dressing.
- Pound chicken breasts to ¾ inch thickness between wax paper or in a re-sealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over chicken, turning to coat evenly. Marinate, refrigerated, at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Preheat a grill or a grill pan on the stove to medium heat; cook chicken, turning when halfway done, until cooked through (internal temperature of 165 degrees F.); set aside for 5-10 minutes to “rest” (resting keeps the juices in the chicken instead of on the cutting board when it is cut). Thinly slice chicken (chicken can also be refrigerated and served chilled).
- For the salad, toss together cabbage, carrots, cashews, cilantro and green onion with the remaining marinade/dressing until everything is evenly coated. Top with sliced chicken (chicken can also be tossed together with salad ingredients).