When I worked on Michigan Avenue, in downtown Chicago, we’d frequently go across the street to Nordstrom for lunch. I know it’s rude, but I’ve always poked fun at one-dish people – you know, the people who go to a restaurant and always order the same dish time after time (but, yes, Melissa, I love you anyway). However, the Chinese Chicken Salad at Cafe Nordstrom is so very, very good that I order it every single time.
I’ve created my own gluten-free version. I feel funny calling it Chinese Chicken Salad, since there’s nothing Chinese about it, except the inclusion of bok choy (a Chinese cabbage) and a dressing made with rice vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce.
BTW, in case you didn’t know, soy sauce is a hidden source of gluten, since it is fermented with wheat. In fact, some soy sauces contain 50 percent wheat. Instead of soy sauce, I use San-J Wheat-Free Tamari, which is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. La Choy Soy Sauce is also gluten-free, though I’m not fond of some of its ingredients: hydrolyzed soy protein, corn syrup and caramel color.
This colorful salad is a great take-along dish for picnics and barbecues, and it makes a satisfying, no-cook summertime meal. For ease of preparation, I use rotisserie chicken, though you could grill a chicken breast and dice it. Most rotisserie chickens are gluten-free, but check the ingredients to be sure.
My kids will actually eat this green salad. The sweet mandarin oranges, crunchy almonds and abundant veggies camouflage the chicken sufficiently for my chicken-hating older daughter.
As a fun variation, I’ve added gluten-free chow mein noodles that I bought at Passover (I doubt you’d be able to find them now). Add them tableside, as you serve each portion, or else they’ll quickly turn into soggy strips.