Tchoup Chop Tropical Chicken Salad
- 1 whole pineapple
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (10 to 12 ounces), cooked and diced
- 1/4 cup minced red onions
- cup minced celery
- 1/4 cup minced red bell peppers
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped lightly toasted cashews
- 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced mint
- 1 teaspoon wasabi powder
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 wonton wrappers, cut into very thin strips
- Essence, to taste, recipe follows
- Green onions thinly sliced on diagonal, garnish
- Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Using a sharp knife, cut the leafy top from the pineapple and reserve. Halve the pineapple lengthwise. Carefully remove the fruit from the shell so that the shell remains intact. Discard the tough inner core and set the shell aside. Chop the fruit into 1/2-inch dice.
In a bowl, combine the diced chicken, diced pineapple, red onions, celery, bell peppers, cashews, cilantro, and mint.
In a small bowl, whisk together the wasabi powder and water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, lime juice and soy sauce, and whisk to combine. Slowly add 1/4 cup of the oil, whisking to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add, to taste, to the chicken mixture, tossing to combine. Stuff the pineapple with the salad.
In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the wonton strips and quickly pan-fry until golden, stirring constantly. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with Essence.Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.
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