Yes, it is called "Chinese" Chicken Salad but every good 4th Generation Japanese-American has a good "Chinese Chicken Salad" recipe in their collection. Mine comes from my mom's cookbook she created with her girlfriends known as "Les Dames". I think I've talked about them before but these women really know their stuff when it comes to yummy food. I've had a lot of Chinese Chicken salad in my life and I have to say, in my opinion this is THE BEST Chinese Chicken Salad recipe I've ever had because of two things. 1. The dressing has the perfect balance of sweet and salt, isn't too oily and 2. The chicken has a tiny hint of ginger because you add a piece to the water you cook it in which gives it a nice subtle flavor and adds depth. I've altered their dressing recipe a bit because I thought the original had a little too much salt but I could literally put this dressing on anything - salad, veggies, in a sandwich, used as a marinade, you name it. My only problem is that even when I make a double batch, it disappears in no time. So, I highly recommend at least making a double batch so that you can have some left over to use. If you like a strong sesame flavor with a perfect balance of sweet, sour and salty - you will love this! I make all the different parts of this ahead of time, refrigerate them all in little baggies and then bring them all together right before serving so that the fried maifun stays crunchy and everything else is cold and crisp. This is also great to take to the beach or serve up at a party in Chinese to-go boxes. If you are taking it to the beach, just take all of your separate baggies and mix everything together in your one big zip lock that has the lettuce (including the dressing) and voila - you have a perfect well balanced lunch.
3 boneless chicken breasts - you can also use chicken tenders, just remember to tear the little cartilage bit out after the chicken is cooked
1/2 to 1 pkg. maifun (noodles that puff up when you fry them) available at most grocery stores in the Asian section
1-2 heads lettuce - I like to mix romaine and iceberg - sliced thinly
3-4 green onions, sliced thin diagonally
1 small pkg, almonds, toasted - I just put them on low setting on a tray in the toaster oven
1/4 C sesame seeds, toasted - you can buy them already toasted at Asian grocers
1/4 C cilantro or Chinese parsley
1 medium slice of fresh ginger (skin can be on)
Oil for deep frying
4 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar (I prefer the Marukan brand)
2 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp black pepper
1/2 C vegetable oil
4 Tbsp. sesame oil (I prefer the Kadoya brand)
Combine all ingredients except oils and dissolve over low heat. Add oil after cooling. Whisk ingredients or add oil to a blender slowly to emulsify. Pour into a sealable container. In a medium saucepan, cover chicken breasts in enough water to cover breasts and add a piece of fresh ginger. Bring to a boil until chicken is just done, about 10 minutes - do not overcook. Drain, cool and shred into small pieces.
Deep fry the maifun in hot oil at 350 Degrees, taking a small handful at a time. The maifun will puff up quickly so remove right away with a Chinese strainer if you have one. Drain the puffed maifun on paper towels and set aside. I like to put my puffed maifun in a ziplock bag and save it for when I'll be serving the salad. Combine chicken, lettuce, onions, almonds and sesame seeds and cilantro in a salad bowl. Just before serving, add maifun and dressing and toss gently to mix. For a creative presentation, you can serve in Chinese to-go boxes that you can get at places like Smart and Final or order online ahead of time.