Going to Tao Tao Restaurant was all the time a deal with reserved for a particular night time with my grandma. As a baby, I bear in mind going within the again entrance and ready whereas the beautiful girls in crimson satin attire would seat us. I bear in mind the rocks and vegetation by the again door, and the tiny Chinese language sculpture within the small alcove, and the shiny enameled screens with inlays of pheasants embroidered in silk. However greater than something, I bear in mind the primary salad I ever fell in love with.
Reading: Tao tao chicken salad recipe
Tao Tao Tossed Hen Salad is the only merchandise on their menu for which they’re most well-known. It’s additionally a recipe I’ve been making an attempt to get proper at dwelling for almost a decade now- all the time since shifting from California. I’ve lastly gotten it. NO JOKE. It’s loads of work, however while you dwell 3000 miles out of your favourite Chinese language place, it’s price it. No mandarin oranges, no ramen noodles, no mini corn, no mayonnaise- this Hen Salad is solely perfection in a bowl.
Contemplate this my present to you.
Tao Tao Hen Salad
For the Salad:
- 1 head finely shredded recent iceberg lettuce
- 1 bunch recent cilantro, chopped, no stems
- 3-4 scallions, sliced thinly
- 3-4 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup salted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces skinny cellophane rice noodles
- 4 hen breast tenders, crisp-fried and chopped (recipe beneath)
- Vegetable oil for frying
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For the dressing- it doesn’t appear to be a lot, however it’s sufficient. You simply barely need the lettuce coated, shake the next collectively in a small jar or whisk in a bowl:
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp TOASTED sesame oil (ridiculously necessary)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp dry asian mustard
Very first thing I do is prep and fry the hen and cellophane noodles. To do this, I soak the 4 tenders in a couple of cup of buttermilk for an hour. Whereas it’s soaking, combine in a plastic bag the next: 1 cup flour, 2 tsp Morton’s Season All, 2 tsp of powdered hen broth bouillon, 2 tsp onion powder 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning and 1 tsp recent black pepper. Toss the hen within the bag, shake to coat, and fry within the oil you might have heated to 375 in both your fryer, or in a deep pot on the range. Tenders cook dinner quickly- often 5-6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and put aside to chill.
Take your time doing this half: Whereas the oil remains to be sizzling, break your cellophane noodles into manageable items. I typically use scissors for this, as dry, they’re fairly robust. Often cellophane noodles are soaked in sizzling water and served mushy. For this, we’re going to toss them, dry from the bundle, in very small bunches, into sizzling oil. They are going to puff up nearly instantly. Ensure you do it in small bunches, flip them, and take away them promptly. Raw cellophane noodles are robust and inedible, however fried, they turn out to be delicate, tender little crunchy darlings. You’ll have fairly the pile of white crunchy noodles while you’re executed. (purchase them within the asian part of any market).
Now that your frying is completed and the dressing is made, you will get to creating the salad.
In a big bowl, toss the shredded lettuce, chopped cilantro (sure, the entire bunch), scallions, sesame seeds and cashews collectively. Prime with the chopped cooling (however nonetheless heat) hen and the pile of white crunchy cellophane noodles.
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Drizzle all the quantity of dressing over the salad, and toss completely with some tongs or together with your arms. It will likely be very frivolously dressed, however this can be a good factor.
Switch to a fairly bowl, and should you really feel fancy, high with a number of selection cilantro sprigs and a few entire cashews. ENJOY!!
These are raw cellophane noodles. You’ll use possibly 1/2 of 1 bunch:
GET TOASTED sesame oil, not plain. Plain is simply oil, toasted is a strongly flavored condiment:
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