Note: This is an edited blog post from five years ago, about a friend and a salad. I've had the pleasure of visiting with her recently and thought it would be fun to share this again, because it's a great recipe.
Whenever I make this salad, I enjoy sweet memories of a dear friend who used to live in my town and go to church with me. She and her husband have since served three or four missions for our church ( I lost count), which have taken her to all parts of the world and they now reside in California. She is one of my Titus 2 friends. I learned so many things from her, but her example to me of a godly woman who was always serving others tops the list. Judy doesn't wait for an assignment, she see's a need and she's there. I know, because I was a recipient of her love on more than one occasion. So when I pull out this recipe, I think of Judy and wish she would move back to NC. I miss her!! It's fun to remember the supper club meeting at my house, when she taught us how to make this salad. Our theme that night was Salads and Summer Foods and this one was on the menu. That's Judy on the left in the picture above. It's been eleven years since this picture was taken and she doesn't look a day older!
Now that's a bunch of cooks in the kitchen! We had so much fun at those supper club meetings and turned out some great food while making sweet memories together.
I'm thankful that Judy shared this recipe that night, because it has become one of my family's favorite salads. I've adapted it somewhat, to suit our needs better, but it still tastes like Judy's Won ton Salad. The only problem with this salad is that it seems to grow in the bowl. You can't make a small Won ton Salad and it doesn't lend itself to leftovers, so you need to have a crowd when you make it. If you have a large family, then it's a nonissue, otherwise, invite some friends over or take it to a pot luck, where everyone will love you.
As it's name implies, the star of this dish is won tons. I use half a package and freeze the rest for another time. The won tons are quickly fried in hot oil. This goes super fast, only taking a minute or two on each side, so stay close to the stove. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Chop some good crunchy lettuce, romaine works well. Put this in a big bowl.
Remember, this salad "grows".
Then chop and add the other ingredients on top of the lettuce. I like sliced green onions, and drained water chestnuts and cucumbers. Carrots and red pepper would also be good.
Earlier in the week, we had grilled chicken for dinner and I intentionally made extra for this salad, so all I had to do was pull it out and chop. Planning menus and thinking ahead to how you can use your food, reduces waste and stress. It's worth the effort to establish the habit. You can use any cooked chicken you might have.
I toasted some sesame seeds to go on top of the salad. You can skip the toasting part, but it really helps bring out the flavor and crunch of the seeds. It only takes a couple of minutes.
I've adapted the dressing by cutting the sugar in half and using some agave nectar. The dressing is still nice and sweet. The ingredients for the dressing are salt, rice vinegar, sugar, agave nectar and vegetable oil. Very simple and really delicious.
Now comes the fun part. All those won tons that were fried up earlier, get crunched on top of the salad. Thanks to Dillon for getting his hands dirty and helping out. I love having my kids help in the kitchen, no matter how old they are!
I have no pictures of the salad on plates, darn it. You'll have to use your imagination. As soon as that dressing was on and we had tossed the salad, all we were thinking about was eating it!
Judy's Won Ton Salad
1 head lettuce, chopped
1/2 package wontons, fried in oil, drained well on paper towels
chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1 small can water chestnuts, chopped
chopped cucumbers, carrots, celery, red peppers (or whatever you like)
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
3 small green onions, chopped
Chop lettuce, onions, water chestnuts and other vegetables of your choice. Chop chicken. Place all in large bowl. Add sesame seeds and dressing. Mix well. Eat immediately. Soggy wontons are no fun.
2 t. salt
8 t. rice vinegar
5 T. sugar ( or combination of sugar and other sweetener such as agave)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Mix well with wire whisk. Sugar and salt will not completely dissolve.