Chicken & Napa Cabbage Salad with Cucumber, Asparagus, & Cashews

Chicken & Napa Cabbage Salad

with Cucumber, Asparagus, & Cashews

35 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s recipe is our take on a restaurant favorite: the Chinese chicken salad. We’re starting with a base of napa cabbage (yours may be green or red), cucumber, and carrots, marinated in sesame oil and rice vinegar. After a few minutes, the vegetables soften a bit, but maintain just enough crispness to stand up to hearty chicken—cooked in an umami-rich combination of soy sauce and sweet white miso paste. Verdant asparagus and crunchy cashews bring even more satisfying texture to the dish.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    580 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Fill a small pot with water; add a big pinch of salt and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut out and discard the cabbage core; cut the leaves crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces. Halve the cucumber lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds, then thinly slice the cucumber on an angle. Peel the carrots and thinly slice into rounds. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Cut off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut into 1-inch pieces, leaving the pointed tips intact. In a bowl, whisk together the miso paste and 3 tablespoons of warm water until smooth.

Marinate the vegetables:
2 Marinate the vegetables:

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, half the sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add the cabbage, cucumber, and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Toss to thoroughly combine. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Brown the chicken:
3 Brown the chicken:

While the vegetables marinate, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in a single, even layer and cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the ginger and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Turn off the heat.

Blanch & shock the asparagus:
4 Blanch & shock the asparagus:

While the chicken cooks, fill a medium bowl with ice water; set aside. To the pot of boiling water, add the asparagus. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until bright green and slightly softened. Drain thoroughly and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. Let stand until cool. Drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

Make the sauce & finish the chicken:
5 Make the sauce & finish the chicken:

To the pan of browned chicken, add the soy sauce and miso-water mixture. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat. Stir in the remaining sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad & plate your dish:
6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

Pick the cilantro and mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems. To the bowl of marinated vegetables, add the finished chicken and sauce, shocked asparagus, cilantro leaves, mint leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished salad between 2 dishes. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions and cashews. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Fill a small pot with water; add a big pinch of salt and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut out and discard the cabbage core; cut the leaves crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces. Halve the cucumber lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds, then thinly slice the cucumber on an angle. Peel the carrots and thinly slice into rounds. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Cut off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut into 1-inch pieces, leaving the pointed tips intact. In a bowl, whisk together the miso paste and 3 tablespoons of warm water until smooth.

2 Marinate the vegetables:

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, half the sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add the cabbage, cucumber, and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Toss to thoroughly combine. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Marinate the vegetables:
Brown the chicken:
3 Brown the chicken:

While the vegetables marinate, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in a single, even layer and cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the ginger and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Turn off the heat.

4 Blanch & shock the asparagus:

While the chicken cooks, fill a medium bowl with ice water; set aside. To the pot of boiling water, add the asparagus. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until bright green and slightly softened. Drain thoroughly and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. Let stand until cool. Drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

Make the sauce & finish the chicken:
5 Make the sauce & finish the chicken:

To the pan of browned chicken, add the soy sauce and miso-water mixture. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat. Stir in the remaining sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

Pick the cilantro and mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems. To the bowl of marinated vegetables, add the finished chicken and sauce, shocked asparagus, cilantro leaves, mint leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished salad between 2 dishes. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions and cashews. Enjoy!

Make the salad & plate your dish:
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