Crispy Crunch Salad from Mei Mei’s Irene Li

Chris McIntosh for BostonChefs

Make your next salad a multi-layered, many-textured experience with the Crispy Crunch Salad from Mei Mei‘s award-winning chef-owner Irene Li. The accomplished chef (maybe you saw her TEDx Talk?) uses locally-grown Little Leaf Farms greens as the base (that’s the crispy), adds garlic-toasted panko (there’s the crunch), and a bit of chili crisp (there’s some extra crisp). She tops the whole thing with a fried egg (or poached, if you prefer) and a zippy, ginger-y dressing for a next level salad to add to the rotation. 


Servings: 2


for the salad
  • 1 four-ounce box of Little Leaf Farms Greens
  • 2 eggs, poached or fried
  • 1 cup panko
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoon chili crisp - store bought (Lao Gan Ma for a classic flavor profile, Fly By Jing for an earthy note) or make your own (LA Times)
for the dressing
  • 1/2 cup peeled, roughly chopped carrot
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup neutral oil such as canola or avocado
Little Leaf Coupon Image


for the dressing
  1. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
for the salad
  1. Toast the panko: in a saute pan over medium, saute crushed garlic in canola oil for 3 minutes, then remove garlic. Increase heat to high, add panko and toast, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Poach or fry eggs and set aside. For a true “Mei Mei style” oozy egg, steam at 70C for 30 minutes, then fry in a pan.
  3. To assemble, gently mix Little Leaf Farms greens with 1-2 tablespoon dressing. Top with egg, chili crisp, and toasted panko.

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