Some people complain that the Mediterranean diet is somewhat bland and lacking in “bite.” Personally, I have never found that to be the case, but sometimes I do find the need to look to the Far East for some Asian inspiration. Like balsamic vinegar, I have found that soy sauce tends to add a special flavor that triggers a whole new host of flavors.
Salads are wonderful during the summer. The Chinese Chicken and Walnut salad below incorporates a number of Asian condiments – hoison sauce and soya – that adds a flavor complexity to an otherwise simple salad. The Napa cabbage has become a frequent ingredient for my summer salad preparations since I enjoy the “crunch.”
This recipe is a summer favorite and we normally serve it with shredded chicken rather than shrimp, but for those who are feather-challenged we provide you with a harvested-shrimp alternative. A note on the dressing: Use it sparingly since it tends to overwhelm the rest of the ingredients. Toss in half of the dressing, taste and then add more if needed. This recipe is derived from several sources from my vast archives of recipes worth savoring.
Chinese Chicken and Walnut Salad
A wonderful salad with an Asian twist. Just the "right" balance of acid to get my juices flowing. Healthy too!
Ingredients for Dressing
- 1/2 cup of oil
- 1/4 cup on hoison sauce (maybe less)
- 1/4 cup of soy
- 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp (heaping) of garlic
- 1 tsp (heaping) of ginger
- 1/8 cup of sesame seeds
- 1 bunch of spinach
- 1/2 bunch of Napa cabbage (don't substitute)
- 4 carrots julienned
- 1 1/2 cups of walnuts
- 1 red pepper julienned
- 4 scallions sliced
- 2 cups of shredded chicken or shrimp
- 2 stalks of celery sliced
- 1 small jalapeño thinly sliced
- Toss salad ingredients together.
- Mix dressing thoroughly and then add about half of the dressing to the salad and toss thoroughly. Taste and then add more dressing to suit your taste.
On a hot summer day, you probably don’t need more than this delicious Mediterranean diet salad with a hint of the Orient.