Chinese Chicken Salad appears on restaurant and fast-food menus from coast to coast, so we eagerly took up the task of concocting this vegan version made with fried tofu and other crisp and crunchy Asian-inspired ingredients.
8 ounces firm or extra-firm tofu
3 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup snow peas, cut in half diagonally
3 cups napa cabbage, shredded
3 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 cup carrot, shredded
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon agave nectar or turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup crispy chow mein noodles or crispy rice noodles
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
For un-chicken, squeeze tofu block over the sink to remove excess water. Cut tofu in thirds lengthwise and then into 1-inch strips. Place strips in small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon tamari, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, garlic granules, and ground ginger, and stir well to evenly coat tofu.
Cook tofu strips in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
Fill a small saucepan half full with water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add snow peas, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes or until bright green. Remove from heat. Drain snow peas in a colander, and run cold water over them until cool.
Place napa cabbage, romaine lettuce, mung bean sprouts, carrot, green onions, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add cool snow peas, and toss gently to combine.
For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, peanut butter, 2 tablespoons water, remaining 2 tablespoons tamari, remaining 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, agave nectar, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
Scatter un-chicken, chow mein noodles, and peanuts over salad. Drizzle dressing over salad, and toss gently until evenly coated.
You can replace the tofu with 8 ounces prepackaged chicken-flavored seitan strips, as well as substitute other varieties of lettuce.