When my daughter came home for her bday weekend, I had this salad ready for her arrival with her cousin and roommate. I knew it would be well received by her as she likes Chinese/Asian influenced foods and was perfect for me as I could make it ahead. It’s an easy, portable salad great for picnicking as it contains no mayo (which also pleases those mayo haters, and you know who you are).
The chicken breasts were poached for this recipe. I normally do not like to poach my chicken as I feel the flavor just simmers away, but leaving the chicken in the liquid to cool, it soaks in the flavor and stay so very moist. A gentle shredding of the chicken, a quick chopping of veggies and simple whisked vinaigrette blends all the flavors together.
I overheard my daughter’s roommate commenting that Gina should make this and my daughter’s reply was that it’s about not having all the ingredients on hand. So, my dear little Gina, see below, the ingredients are not all that uncommon to keep in your pantry and when I visit you next, I will, as always, fill your frig and pantry.
Shredded Asian Chicken Salad
For the salad:
4 boneless chicken breasts
Small cabbage, thinly shredded, about 2 cups
1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
2 green onions, diagonally sliced, green tops included
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted for garnish
For the vinaigrette:
2- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of Chinese hot mustard
2 tablespoons Sesame oil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, or slightly less
In a medium skillet, place in chicken breasts covering with water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and gentle simmer until no longer pink, about 10-13 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow chicken to cool in its liquid. Can be made ahead and refrigerated.
Drain the chicken and shred using two forks into thin strips. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken and remaining salad ingredients. Pour over vinaigrette and mix well. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving time.
For the vinaigrette: In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients up to the oils. Slowly whisk in the oils until combined well. Taste and adjust seasonings.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.