When I put a meal together I usually try and theme all the food around the same nationality. The other day we decided to grill some Spicy Thai Chicken Satay with Grilled Pineapple. This spicy hot dish called for something cool as a side dish, so I decided to whip up a salad using a mix of Asian and other known vegetables.
In preparation, I headed to the local Ralph's grocery store to browse the Asian produce section. I picked up Napa Cabbage to use as the base for the salad. Napa Cabbage has a long shape and closely packed, pale green leaves attached to wide white stems. It has a delicate mustard-like flavor which marries perfectly with other vegetables.
Adding sugar snap peas, carrots, and small Japanese cucumber to the cart I had a good start. I also added some sweetness to the salad with mandarin oranges. I'm a sucker for those baby oranges! Adding a little garnish or cilantro and chow mien noodles for crunch the Simple Asian Salad was born.
Top this off with you favorite Asian dressing. We used Girard's Chinese Chicken Salad dressing, which I love. It's lighter and a little more sweet than the typical sesame based dressing.
Simple Asian Salad is the perfect side dish to spicy food. I would also make a great lunch entrée. You could even add chicken or beef to the salad for extra protein if you'd like.
Simple Asian Salad
4 oz. sugar snap peas (or snow peas), chopped
1/3 cup carrots, shredded
2-3 Japanese or Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 oz mandarin oranges
2 Tbls cilantro, chopped
handful of chow mien noodles for garnish
2-3 Tbls Girard's Chinese chicken salad dressing
In a large bowl add cabbage, snap peas, carrots, cucumbers and mandarin oranges. Toss to mix. Top with cilantro and chow mien noodles. Drizzle salad dressing over the top and serve.