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Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad

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SKILL LEVEL :
Easy but takes some time

Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad | Something New For Dinner

Chinese Chicken Salad to Lighten Up

I don't know about you, but ever since we started sheltering in place, I have taken to enjoying carbs a lot more than I normally do. As I have gotten older I have found that too many carbs don't agree with my jeans. So in regular times (pre-covid) I have eaten carbs in moderation. Since covid-19 has invaded our lives I have become much more comfortable with nightly pasta, potatoes and bread. As one friend said, "there are no off-limit foods during the coronavirus." Well after three months of eating whatever I want, something has to give, or I am going to have to upsize my sweat pants. Here is a fresh, healthy Chinese Chicken Salad for a wholesome, lighter dinner.

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Poached Chicken Breasts

Poaching chicken is a great trick to have in your repertoire as poached chicken can be used for sandwiches, salads and even shredded into vegetable soups. There are a few tricks to poaching chicken to achieve moist, perfectly cooked meat, as opposed to dry, flavorless breasts. Check out our post How to Poach Chicken Breasts  to learn how it is done. Once you learn how to poach chicken correctly, you will love the tender meat and the ultra simplicity of the technique. If you really don't want to go to the trouble of poaching chicken for this salad you can always use grocery store rotisserie chicken.

Prepping Ginger

There are a couple tricks to prepping ginger. The first is to peel the skin away with the edge of a spoon. Once the skin is removed there are four methods I recommend for prepping ginger which are suitable for different types of recipes. Check out our post How to Peel and Chop Ginger to learn these four techniques. The tools you can use for these different options include a Cuisinart Mini-Prep, a fine microplane zester and a meat tenderizer.

Almonds or Salted Dry Roasted Peanuts

This Chinese Chicken Salad needs a little crunch. I like either sliced almonds (even better if they are toasted) or salted dry roasted peanuts. Both types of nuts work well.

Make Ahead

The beauty of this Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad is it can largely be made in advance and then simply assembled right before serving. You can make the dressing ahead of time and the vegetables can be roasted and refrigerated. Likewise, the lettuce, bell pepper, cilantro and green onion can all be chopped in advance.  By preparing in advance, all you have to do is toss the Chinese Chicken salad before you serve. This salad is also very durable, so even when tossed with dressing, I find it very acceptable as leftovers the next day.

The Salad Dressing

This recipe makes more salad dressing than you will need, which is a good thing because it is so good it is nearly drinkable. The dressing is a slight variation on Roy Choi's Miso Salad Dressing. Choi uses this dressing in a simple salad of fresh spinach and sliced strawberries. Use the leftover dressing to make his strawberry and spinach salad and toss in some sliced almonds for a little crunch. Or drizzle it on roasted cauliflower, broccoli or carrots. Or use it as a dip for fresh vegetable crudites. You will definitely find plenty of ways to use any extra salad dressing you make.

Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4

This light and healthy Chinese chicken salad can be prepped in advance. It makes for a great weeknight meal when you are looking to lighten up and be healthy.

Ingredients

For the dressing: 

  • 1 to 2" peeled finger of fresh ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 T white miso
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice 
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 t toasted sesame seed oil
  • 3/4 cup mild olive oil (not lite)

For the roasted vegetables:

  • 5 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1" pieces
  • 2 heads broccoli, stemmed and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • Olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 1 whole poached chicken breast (about 1 pound) chopped,  or 2 cups shredded grocery store rotisserie chicken
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned into 1" lengths
  • 1 large handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced including both green and white parts
  • 1 cup sliced almonds or dry roasted salted peanuts

Instructions

For the dressing:

  1. In a food processor, blender or Cuisinart Mini-prep finely mince the ginger and garlic. Add the miso, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, orange juice, honey and toasted sesame seed oil. Add the olive oil and whirl until well blended. Set aside.

For the roasted vegetables:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the carrots and broccoli out on two separate sheet pans, making sure you do not overcrowd. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with your hands. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Roast the broccoli for about 10 - 12 minutes until the edges begin to color, checking after about 6 minutes and flipping. Roast the carrots for about 20 minutes, checking after about 12 minutes and flipping. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 

For the salad: 

  1. In a large bowl combine cabbage, chicken, broccoli, carrots, red bell pepper, cilantro, green onions, nuts and half the dressing. Toss to combine, taste and add more dressing to your taste preference. 

Courses Dinner

Cuisine New American

 
THIS SERVES WELL WITH
2 COMMENTS

Comments

  1. Elizabeth Ann Barnes says:

    I am really excited about this recipe! I am going to substitute the chicken with grilled tofu. I just made black cod with Nobu inspired miso glaze which was delicious so I already have the miso paste. Check out my son in law’s new fresh seafood website at E-Fish.com. I miss our group yoga classes. I hope you and your family are healthy and well.

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      HI Elizabeth, I am glad you like this recipe. The dressing is nearly drinkable it is so good. I use it on lots of different salads, but I particularly like it in this Chinese Chicken salad. I love your son’s fish site. Photos are gorgeous. Can’t wait to try some of his fish and maybe those scallops!

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