Chinese chicken salad
|Chinese chicken salad|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Main ingredient(s)||Chicken, Chinese noodles, lettuce, ginger, sesame oil|
Chinese chicken salad, as its name suggests, is a salad with chicken flavoured by Chinese seasonings, popular in the United States. The Chinese influence comes from common Chinese-themed ingredients. Though many variations exist, common features of most salads described as "Chinese chicken" contain lettuce, chicken, use of raw ginger or pickled ginger and sesame oil in the dressing, and crisp pieces of deep-fried wonton skins. Other recipes may contain a combination of Water chestnuts and Mandarin orange slices, or the Mandarin orange slices alone along with crushed instant ramen noodles. A vinaigrette incorporating vegetable oil and a ramen seasoning packet is a frequent component of the latter recipe.
The Chinese chicken salad may have originated from Pan-Asian cuisine pioneers, rather than having actual roots in Chinese cuisine, as salad is a dish of Western origins. However, many "non-Western" world cultures also have salads of various sorts as part of their traditional cuisines. In Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren writes, "There are many different types of cold chicken salad in China, although most of them seem to originate in Szechwan. But the Chinese chicken salad being consumed ... by the fashionable set, probably originated in California." In Hollywood Dish, Akasha Richmond writes, "Hollywood gave rise to more salads than just the Caesar and Cobb. The 1960s produced the Chinese Chicken Salad, which was made popular at Madame Wu's in Santa Monica. Cary Grant asked her to put it on the menu after eating it at another restaurant."
The pleasing combination of ingredients have given Chinese chicken salad widespread popularity, thus establishing it on many restaurant menus, including the fast food establishment Wendy's and the exclusive Spago.
- "Ramen Noodle Chicken Salad".
- Martin Yan (2000) Chinese Cooking for Dummies, John Wiley and Sons ISBN 0-7645-5247-3
- Sylvia Lovegren (2005) Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, University of Chicago Press ISBN 0-226-49407-1
- Akasha Richmond (2006) Hollywood Dish: More Than 150 Delicious, Healthy Recipes from Hollywood's Chef to the Stars, Penguin ISBN 978-1-58333-241-2