Asian Mandarin Orange Chicken Spinach Salad ~ New twist on the classic mandarin orange spinach salad with noodles and chicken all tossed in Asian-inspired dressing.As you might expect, I have a lot of “favorite” foods. When I get asked that question, I try to get the asker to narrow it down a bit, give me a category if they can. I simply love too many types of foods and many can’t be picked between. I mean how can you pick between meatballs and pancakes? They aren’t even in the same category, but yet, I wouldn’t want to live my life without either of them.
Noodles are in the top 5 of my favorite things to eat. Italian or Asian style and I am one happy camper. I’m too afraid to actually see how many recipes I have in that category here on TCS. Probably a lot more than I should.
JSL Foods provided me with Yakisoba Mandarin Orange Stir Fry Noodles to participate in their blogger recipe contest; I was not compensated for this recipe. All thoughts, whether glowing, gushing, or otherwise, are my own.
When I learned about JSL Foods, (a name you might not recognize but if you love noodles, you’ll surely recognize the packaging), was having a blogger recipe contest, I couldn’t resist. Of course I’d love to win, but the opportunity to make another noodle recipe was just a bit more than I could say no to.I picked one of their new flavors, Yakisoba Stir Fry Mandarin Orange. I have been craving the classic spinach and mandarin orange salad (my slight iron deficiency could have something to do with that) and thought I should give this tried and true salad an Asian make-over. I’m so happy I did. Of all my recipes, this might be one of the more simpler and easy to make dishes. Start to finish took me just about 30 minutes, not including the marinating time. With a busy schedule, fast meals are always a plus in my book. Asian Mandarin Orange Chicken Spinach Salad is fast and easy, plus it’s great for a week’s worth of lunches (just don’t add the dressing, save it for each portion) or a gathering where you need to bring a dish to share.
The day I made this Asian Mandarin Orange Chicken Spinach Salad, I was feeding 5 additional hungry souls for lunch. Nothing makes you work faster than 10 eyes watching every move you make, hoping for scraps to fall to the ground so they can scavenge. Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but not by much.
I’m going to give my standard statement to not freak out when looking at the ingredient list. Yes, it’s long for such a simple meal, but it’s mostly for the dressing and super quick to combine. You won’t regret it.
Asian Mandarin Orange Chicken Spinach Salad
- 1 season packet from the noodles (remaining can be discarded or saved for a different use)
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup oil (olive or other mild-flavored vegetable oil)
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic; minced/grated or 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp grated onion (it will be liquidity)
- 1/3 cup mandarin juice (from the reserved can)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 chicken breasts (~1-1.5 lbs); cubed
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 3-7.7 oz pkgs Yakisoba Stir Fry Mandarin Orange; thawed
- 10 oz pkg baby spinach; cleaned
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds (1-2.25 oz pkg)
- 1-15 oz can mandarin oranges; juice reserved (in juice or light syrup; not heavy syrup)
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
Whisk all the ingredients together.
Remove 1/4 cup; set aside
Cover the remaining and chill until ready to be used.
Place the cubed chicken in a zip-seal bag or other sealable container.
Pour the reserved 1/4 cup of dressing over the chicken; close and toss well.
Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 4 hours.
Remove the dressing from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
Heat a large skillet/pan over medium high heat; add the oil.
Pour the chicken and marinade in the pan and cook, 5-8 minutes depending on how thick the chicken has been cubed.
Once done, set aside while assembling the salad.
In a large bowl, add the spinach, noodles, and mandarin oranges; toss well.
Add the cilantro, chicken, and almonds; toss again.
Whisk the dressing together to re-emulsify then pour it over the salad; toss again.
Serve and enjoy or cover and chill until ready to be served.
Serve with the optional red pepper flakes.
As I mentioned, this recipe is fast, but it’s equally delicious. Adding the noodles and chicken to the classic salad really buoyed it up, helping you stay fuller longer. I went simple, but you can add so many things to this salad: red onions, cucumbers, mushrooms, dried cranberries, and even some bacon. The possibilities are endless.JSL Noodles are available at the following stores – Banners, Macey’s, Dick’s, Lin’s, Fresh Market, Harmon’s, Smiths, Associated Food Stores, WinCO, and Target. You can find more info about JSL Foods on Facebook and Twitter.