I was going to call this the “Ladies Who Lunch” salad but that seemed way too chichi for these parts. Why the name? Because I don’t get to do lunch with friends nearly enough but a few weeks ago I had a lunch date with Catherine McCord (yes, the lady behind the wonderful Weelicious) and like the phenom femme she is, she just casually threw together a version of this Asian Chicken Salad at a moment’s notice. I love it because it pretty much sums up Catherine — farmers market fresh, contemporary yet classic, and easy but elegant — which also happens to be the exact things I love in a good recipe.
This is a friends inspiring friends type of situation, know what I mean? Like when your friend is listening to some great music or drinking a great cocktail and then you benefit from (and borrow) their cache? That’s what’s happening here with this Asian Chicken Salad with Creamy Mustard-Miso Dressing — she inspired it and I had to share it with you. Anyway, ever since I headed over to Catherine’s I’ve been recreating this on a very regular basis — it’s a little bit Japanese, a tad Vietnamese, but nothing really 100%, well except that it’s 100% that should you must make it, of course!
sliced paper thin (about 1 cup)
(about 1 pound)
sliced paper thin
sliced paper thin
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and line a plate with paper towels and set aside. Meanwhile, separate the shallot slices into rings and toss with the flour to coat. When the oil is heated, take about one quarter of the shallots, shake off excess flour and place in the oil. Cook until the shallots are golden brown, about 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on the towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining shallots.
Check if the oil is at the right temperature by dipping handle of a wooden spoon into the oil -- when the oil is properly heated, there will be little bubbles (like those in sparkling wine) surrounding the handle of the spoon.
Meanwhile, mix the yogurt or cream, honey, mustard, miso, and vinegar in a small bowl until smooth. Dip a lettuce leaf into the dressing and adjust seasoning as desired -- add water if you'd like to thin it out.
Dressing can be made up to 4 days ahead of time -- store refrigerated in an airtight container.
To serve, combine greens, radishes, cucumber, and chicken in a serving bowl and top with about 2/3 of the almonds and shallots. Serve, passing dressing and additional dressing on the side.
Photography and food styling by Aida Mollenkamp