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Jun 18, 2007 07:38 PM

Chinese Chicken Salad Ingredient at Buddakhan?

I know, I know it's not so Chinese, but my DH had it in Philly a few weeks ago and loved it. I can easily recreate it- napa cabbage, watercress, red onion, mint, chopped peanuts, marinated grilled chicken....but what are the crunchy, spongy white fried noodle thingamagigs they throw in for texture? Kind of like crumbled ramen noodles? I have scoured all of the Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese supermarkets here in Flushing, NY but can't seem to find these things.

Any clues?

All Things Delish,

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  1. Sounds like dry mung bean vermicelli. I fry it dry for chicken salad. I also soak it in water and add to my sukiyaki instead of shirataki noodles.

    1. Fried rice noodles? quick fry, they puff out, drain and thats about it.

      1. They are called rice sticks here in NoCal. They look like thin, stiff clear plastic strands and must be puffed up by immersing them in hot oil. I do this in a medium saucepan with high sides. Fill about a third full of veg oil. When it's HOT, I put in a clump of the rice sticks and the immediately plunge a fork in the middle, The rice sticks will puff up around the fork and can easily be removed to a big bowl lined with paper towels.

        It's a bit of work, but without them, Chinese Chicken Salad is not Chinese Chicken Salad.

        I'd also put in some candied red ginger chopped up. The dressing out here is made from soy sauce and rice vinegar and toasted sesame seeds are tossed with the salad.

        9 Replies
        1. re: oakjoan

          Oakjoan ...
          Any chance of the dressing recipe?


          1. re: SLO

            Thanks for all of the responses....definitley not rice sticks, though. I use them all the time. These have the consistency of syrofoam. Not that I eat styrofoam :)

              1. re: Yukari

                Bingo Baby ! The white ones in the first picture, although they were in smaller pieces and a bit curly.....

                Thank you :)

                1. re: ZenFoodist

                  I just did a similar recipe for a picnic. They are rice bean noodles. The only thing you have to be careful about is that you fry the whole noodle. If you miss any part of it, then it stays hard and is a bummer when you bite into it. Also, they have a short shelf-life when fried so do it at the last minute if you can. You definitely do NOT want to do it the day before.

                  Good luck!

              2. re: ZenFoodist

                That's what they use in most restaurant Chinese Chicken Salad...rice sticks that is. Maybe because they absorb the dressing so well.

            1. re: oakjoan

              Oakjoan, please explain the red candied ginger? I don't think I've eve seen that, but would love to!

              1. re: chef chicklet

                I buy it in my local Chinese grocery. The brand I get is "Sweet Fruit" - comes in a smallish cello package and lists ingreds: ginger, sugar, color additive FD and C Red No. 40. The pkg is 7 oz. It's not in the cooler area, but on the shelves.

                My dressing recipe is not written down anywhere because I got it from a friend years ago. The amount depends on how much salad you're making. I'd say it's 2 parts rice wine vinegar to one part soy sauce, a few squirts of toasted sesame oil. I add the ginger to the dressing and then taste. If it needs it (rarely) I add a bit more sugar.

                Stir the whole thing and add to the salad, which is made up of
                shredded iceburg lettuce, lots and lots of chopped scallions, chunks of chicken (I usually buy half a soy chicken - without the sauce added), lots of toasted sesame seeds, and the dressing with the chopped candied ginger in it. Add the dressing a bit at a time and then taste to see if more is needed.

                The "styrofoam" rice sticks absorb the dressing and the whole salad is a combo of the crunchy (NOT like styrofoam - not that I've ever eaten it either) lettuce and some rice sticks and the rice sticks that have absorbed the dressng and are more limp.

                It's just wonderful. May have nothing to do with Chinese or Asian food, but American Chinese restaurants serve it...may be like egg foo young or chow mein.

                Hope this is enough info to help you out.

                1. re: oakjoan

                  Sounds like you cook like me. By taste. I do love Chinese Chicken Salad, and the little variation you've done sounds great. probably all that I'll add is some cilantro.

                  I'll look for the ginger next trip to OAK Chinatown in a few weeks. Going there and Berkeley. Two of my favorite weekend hangouts! Staying at the Lafayette Park and making a little weekend fun trip, great location to zoom in either direction.
                  This is a really refteshing salad for summer, Thanks!

            2. Frequently Chinese Chicken Salad here will have fried won-ton wrappers instead of the fired noodles.