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!
- 1 lb mesclun salad mix
- 1 lb grilled chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
- 8 ounces red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 8 ounces yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 8 ounces green beans, blanched, cut into 3 inch pieces
- 8 ounces cucumber, sliced
- 4 ounces red onion, chopped
- 8 ounces mango, chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 8 egg roll wrappers
- 4 ounces sweet and sour sauce
- 4 ounces macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- 4 ounces carrots, sliced into 1 inch thin strips
- 1 ounce green onions, sliced into 1 inch thin strips
For complete recipe click here
**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 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. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup water, 2 tbsp Sriracha and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Mix together 1/2 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water and add to the sauce. Cook for 2 more minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool. Brush the sauce on the fried egg roll wrappers and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. The crisps are best consumed the day of 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 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1 tbsp honey, 1 garlic clove, 1 shallot, 1 tsp black pepper and 3/4 cup canola oil. Then add the remaining ingredients listed in the recipe (rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil) and blend together.
Cheesecake Factory uses a mesclun mix that includes radicchio, arugula, and other greens but I chose baby spinach as my greens. Even with the different dressing, this salad is just as good as the restaurants! The crisp wontons are key to the luau salad and the mango, chicken, peppers, nuts, and cucumber don’t hurt either. Luckily for me, I made enough of this salad to last me all week!