- Recipe submitted by Gregory Sansousa, Elk Grove, IL
- The ginger, soy sauce, and peanuts give this chicken salad recipe its Thai flair and the crisp lettuce gives it a nice finish.
- Cilantro leaves, green onion (scallions), and iceberg lettuce need to be checked for insect infestations. Please check “Kashrut Instructions” below for instructions on checking these for insect infestation.
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup light vegetable oil, such as canola oil
- ¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes (or more, depending on your taste for spiciness)
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided into thirds
- 3 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ cup chopped green onion (green and white parts)
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 1½ cups bean sprouts
- 1½ cups chopped peanuts
- 1 large head iceberg lettuce
- Peel ginger and garlic; chop rough.
- In a blender or food processor combine the sesame oil, oil, vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, peanut butter, ginger, garlic, chili paste and mayonnaise. Blend or pulse until smooth.
- Add 1/3 of the chopped cilantro and pulse only slightly to evenly distribute the cilantro in the dressing.
- Transfer the dressing to a small mixing bowl and set aside.*
- Seed, derib, and dice bell pepper; place in a large mixing bowl with the chopped chicken, onion, carrots, bean sprouts, 3/4 cup peanuts and another third of the cilantro.
- Add the dressing and toss gently to coat evenly.
- Rinse the lettuce. Remove and discard any brown or tough outer leaves.
- Remove 12 to 14 whole leaves (large leaves can be torn in half). Rinse each leaf again and pat gently with a paper towel to dry each leaf.
- To serve, mound 2 to 3 heaping Tablespoons of the chicken salad mixture onto a lettuce cup.
- Fold the cup over “taco” style and eat.
- *The dressing can be made up to 2 days in advance. (Cover and refrigerate the dressing if making ahead).
DESCRIPTION: Fresh Chives, basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme are often used as spices or garnishing.
Please Note: Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used.
INFESTATION: Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
Vegetable spinners, power hoses, and light boxes are not always available in the home. We therefore recommend the following alternate procedure.
RECOMMENDATION: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs it should not be used.
- Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated unscented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
- Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
- Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
- If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
- If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.
Please note: To prepare herbs such as cilantro, dill, or parsley for use in soups, wash them thoroughly and place in a cooking bag.
LETTUCE & LEAFY VEGETABLES:
DESCRIPTION: Bok Choy, Lettuce, Open-Leaf, Bib, Boston, Butter Lettuce, Chicory, Chinese Lettuce (Napa), Iceberg, Green Leaf, Red Leaf, Romaine, and Watercress all grow in a similar fashion. As they sprout forth from the ground, the leaves begin to open up like a flower. Toward the end of their growth they begin to close around the stalk.
INFESTATION: The insects most commonly found in open-leaf lettuce are small green aphids or thrips. The leaves of the vegetable often camouflage these insects. The open structure of these vegetables allows insects to penetrate the entire head. Red Leaf, Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce have curly leaves with many folds in which the insects tend to hide. We therefore recommend that they be washed and checked with extreme caution. Often, insects may be found between the innermost layers of leaves of an infested head. Therefore, each leaf must be washed and checked individually. The use of a light box for checking lettuce is extremely helpful. Occasionally, worms may be found in burrows within the body of the leaf. Look for a narrow (1/8″) translucent burrow speckled with black dots breaking up the deep green color of the leaf. These burrows will often trap the worm within the leaf. To rid the leaf of these worms, carefully slit the bumpy part within the burrow with a sharp knife and remove the worm.
Please note: Many varieties of open-leaf lettuce feature curly leaves with many folds in which the insects tend to hide. We therefore recommend that they be washed and checked with extreme caution.
- Cut off the lettuce base and separate the leaves from one another.
- Soak leaves in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Agitate the lettuce leaves in the soapy solution.
- Spread each leaf, taking care to expose all its curls and crevices. Using a heavy stream of water or a power hose, remove all foreign matter and soap from both sides of each leaf. Alternatively, a vegetable brush may be used on both sides of the leaf.
- Several leaves should be checked over a light box or under strong overhead lighting to verify that the washing procedure has been effective. Pay careful attention to the folds and crevices in the leaf where insects have been known to hold tight through several washings.
- If it is practical, it is best to check each leaf.
- If the manner of washing described above is impractical, each leaf must be carefully inspected.
- In a commercial setting, a vegetable spinner is recommended. (The advantages of spin-drying are: (1) the Rabbi will not risk an electrical shock when placing the leaves on the light box; and (2) the leaves will stay fresh and moist for a longer period of time.)
- Three handfuls of leaves from different areas of the bin should be checked over a light box or under direct light. Our experience has shown that if the leaves are washed properly, no insects will be found.
INFESTATION: Green onions, also referred to as scallions, have a white base that develops into a bulb. Its long, straight green shoots branch forth from the bulb. Light green or brown thrips may occasionally be found between the green branches where they protrude from the bulb. Less frequently, they can be found on the outside or inside of the long green shoots.
- A vertical cut should be made from the top of the scallion’s green shoot to the bottom of the bulb. Examine three scallions from each bunch, paying careful attention to the area between the branches that protrude from the bulb.
- If no insects are found, wash thoroughly under a heavy stream of water or power hose and use.
- If insects are found in a scallion, it must be discarded.