ASIAN SESAME CHICKEN SALAD
A copycat recipe for Panera’s Asian Sesame Chicken Salad. Crispy, fresh romaine, sliced almonds, sesame seeds, tender sliced grilled chicken, and wonton strips — all topped with a sweet and tangy Asian sesame vinaigrette. So much goodness all packed into ONE salad!
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 whole cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 4 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped (or spring mix)
- 1 (15 oz can) mandarin oranges, drained
- 1/2 cup wonton strips (see notes)
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 12 ounces cooked grilled chicken, sliced or diced (see note)
- FOR THE DRESSING: Place the rice vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat and allow it to just come to a gentle boil, add the sugar and garlic cloves and let the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove the rice vinegar mixture from the stove and discard the garlic cloves. Place the rice vinegar mixture in a mason jar and add the sesame oil, canola oil, soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds. Allow the dressing to come to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes. Screw on the lid and give it a good shake until the dressing mixes together. Please note, homemade salad dressing will separate as it sits, just give it a good shake before pouring onto the salad.
- ASSEMBLE THE SALAD: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the salad and top with the sesame vinaigrette. Serve immediately.