A couple of days ago I shared a copycat recipe for Cheesecake Factory's chicken bellagio dish. That particular meal was one that I wanted to try at the restaurant but never had. Today I'm sharing another one of their dishes, but one that I had many times before. Cheesecake Factory's luau salad was my first and still favorite salad offered on their menu. Now, this salad is no ordinary salad, no sir. Instead of simply mixing salad greens with chicken and vegetables, this salad is stacked with crispy fried wonton wrappers. These wonton wrappers aren't just fried either, they are brushed with a sweet chili sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Stack those sweet crisps with mango, chicken, peppers, and macadamia nuts, and I promise you, you'll be going back for more!
Cheesecake Factory's Luau Salad
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoon Sriracha
- pinch of salt
- ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- oil for frying
- 4 egg roll wrappers cut in half diagonally
- 2 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- ½ cup balsamic vinaigrette
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 shallot
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup canola oil
- 10 ounces mesclun salad mix
- 1 lb grilled chicken breasts sliced into thin strips
- 1 red bell pepper sliced into thin strips
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced into thin strips
- 1 cup sugar snap peas blanched
- 1 medium cucumber chopped
- ½ small red onion chopped
- 1 cup mango chopped
- ¼ cup macadamia nuts toasted and chopped
- ½ cup thinly sliced carrots
- 4 scallions thinly sliced
- Combine ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup water, 2 tablespoon Sriracha and a pinch of salt in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Mix together ½ tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water and add to the sauce. Cook for 2 more minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Heat ⅓ cup frying oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. When the oil reaches 350 degrees F, fry the egg roll wrappers, 2 at a time. Fry until golden brown, flip and fry until browned on the other side. Remove the wrappers from the oil and place on paper towels to drain the excess oil. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
- Brush the prepared sauce on the fried egg roll wrappers and sprinkle white and black sesame seeds on top.
- Prepare the balsamic dressing. Blend together balsamic vinegar - black pepper. Slowly add canola oil while the blender is on, emulsifying the oil with the vinegar. Set aside.
- Assemble the salads. Toss together salad greens, bell peppers, cucumber, red onion, mango, and chicken with salad dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Plate a small portion of the salad on each of the four plates. Place a wonton crisp on top, followed by more salad and another wonton crisp. Garnish with macadamia nuts, carrots, and green onions. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Whenever I order this salad at the Cheesecake Factory, the server always asks if I want the wontons broken or whole. Like I mentioned before, this is no ordinary salad so some might find it odd to find layers of egg roll wrappers in the salad. All you have to do is just dive right in and break into the crispy wrappers; trust me the salad tastes better than it looks!
When preparing the egg roll wrappers, make sure to keep an eye on them while frying. They will continue to darken even after being removed from the oil, so fry just until golden brown.
For the sweet and sour sauce, I used the same sauce I used for my avocado egg rolls. Brush the sauce on the fried egg roll wrappers and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. The crisps are best consumed the same day since they do get soft the following day.
For the balsamic dressing, I chose to use my soy balsamic vinaigrette as the base. Blend together all of the ingredients except the canola oil. Slowly drizzle in the canola oil while the blender is on, emulsifying the mixture. Set aside.
Cheesecake Factory uses a mesclun mix that includes radicchio, arugula, and other greens but you can use any type of greens. Even though my version may not be exactly like the Cheesecake Factory version, this variation is still just as delicious. The crisp wontons are key to the luau salad and the mango, chicken, peppers, nuts, and cucumber doesn't hurt either. Luckily for me, I made enough of this salad to last me all week!
For more salad inspiration check out this fajita chicken salad!
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