Hot Szechuan Chicken Salad

Course : Chinese
Serves: 4
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2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon oriental 5-spice powder
2 medium red bell peppers -- seeded
2 medium jalapeno peppers -- seeded
1 small onion -- thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 head iceberg lettuce -- broken up
2 pieces chicken breasts; skinned -- bite-size cubes
2 tablespoons tomato juice -- minced
1 teaspoon black pepper coarse chopped
1 cup chicken broth skim off fat
2 tablespoons cold water
4 tablespoons dry-roasted cashews -- (opt)

Preparation / Directions:

1. Combine chicken cubes with soy sauce, tomato juice, garlic (if desired), 5-spice powder, and black pepper. Marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature or 30 minutes in refrigerator. 2. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a large nonstick skillet or electric frying pan, arranging chicken in a single layer. Reserve marinade. Brown chicken evenly on all sides over moderate heat. Remove from skillet; set aside. 3. Combine bell and jalapeno peppers, onion, and broth in the skillet. Cook over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken cubes, and cook, stirring, until heated through. Combine cornstarch with reserved marinade and cold water; fork-blend until smooth. Stir into skillet mixture over low heat; simmer, stirring, until mixture thickens and clears. 4. Cut lettuce into bite-size pieces. Arrange on top of chicken mixture in skillet; simmer gently until just heated. Garnish with cashews, if desired.

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