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I’ve noticed since moving back to America (I lived in Japan for 4 years and think I”m Japanese about 97% of the time), I noticed that Asian Salad, Sesame Chicken Salad, or some variation of the former appear on a wide variety of restaurant menus from Wendy’s to upscale fusion restaurants.

Some of them are great, some of them are gross.

I made this salad last night using a dressing that I believe has the good qualities of a generic soy-based dressing without any of the bad (read: chemicals, sugar, anti-caking agents, animal parts) ingredients from restaurant versions of this salad.  This is a veggie-only presentation, but throw some grilled chicken on this bad boy and call it a meal!

Asian Salad

For the dressing, whisk together the following in a big bowl:

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste or 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sushi seasoning (no worries if you can’t find this – use 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon sugar instead)
Taste this.  YUM.  The sesame seeds are for later – grab some if you have any!
While the dressing rests,  thinly slice some cabbage – whatever kind and color you have on hand!  1 to 1 1/2 cups sliced cabbage is the right amount for the dressing – about 1/4 small cabbage.
Toss the cabbage with all the dressing using forks, tongs, your hands, chopsticks, sporks, or kitten paws and let it marinate for at least 10 minutes and up to half an hour.
While the cabbage is marinating, prepare any other veggies you’d like to use.  I’m using sliced romaine lettuce and some thinly sliced cucumbers.
Right before serving, arrange lettuce and raw veggies on a plate, then top each one with marinated cabbage and some extra dressing.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Add grilled chicken or shrimp to make this a full, light, amazing meal!  Other veggies you could include are: scallions, red pepper, water chestnuts, grated carrots…..I can’t think of anything that WOULDN’T go great with this!

Let me know how it turns out!