Saturday, December 18, 2004

Szechuan (garlic) chicken salad

Tonight, for a change, I decided to make a chicken salad. I used the "Szechuan Chicken Salad" recipe from Marnie Henricksson's Everyday Asian. The basic salad ingredients are poached chicken, green beans, and celery on a bed of Chinese egg noodles. These are dressed with garlic, ginger, scallions, black pepper, rice and black vinegars, light soy sauce, sugar, and sesame and chili oils. The result was a big pile of food (guaranteed leftovers) with a bright taste that made me think of lemon or lime even though neither was an ingredient in this dish. I worried that the chili oil might be too much (Henricksson likes her food hotter than I do, I've concluded), but it was fine; I might even add more than the recommended four drops next time. I will probably cut back on the garlic, though. The recipe calls for two large cloves, which is what I used. The salad is very garlicky. This is not necessarily a bad thing (maybe it will chase my cold away), but it may be too much of a good thing. Still, it was a very enjoyable meal, and I look forward to going back for seconds tomorrow, when the ingredients of the dressing probably will have melded more.

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