Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad

THIS is a salad I am SO excited to share with my Three Good Grapes readers.  I tore it out of a Redbook Magazine (May 2013) and knew I had to make it.  The result was just beyond refreshing, delicious, and included a dose of healthy.  I can't say enough about this salad.  It's incredibly satisfying.  Before I fill up your whole screen with praise, let me go ahead and share the recipe and let you decide for yourselves.

I swear the chicken is cooked! The pink hue is probably a combination of my crappy phone camera and the red-brown marinade color


Marinade and dressing

¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

3 Tbsp very finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

3 Tbsp canola oil

2 Tbsp hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp sriracha

1 tsp kosher salt

2 (9-oz) boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup minced scallions (white and green parts)

Photos: my own


1 lb napa cabbage, halved lengthwise, very thinly sliced crosswise

2 carrots, shredded or cut into matchstick-size strips*

½ cup shredded red cabbage*

3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal

⅔ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted

1 tsp black sesame seeds (optional)


In a medium bowl, whisk soy sauce, ginger, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and salt to blend. Transfer 3 Tbsp of the marinade to a baking dish, add chicken, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.*

Dressing: Whisk vinegar and scallions into the remaining marinade. Set aside.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade, add to grill pan, and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced in the thickest part with the tip of a small sharp knife. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes.

Cut chicken crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices.

In a large bowl, toss chicken, cabbage, carrots, scallions, cilantro, and half of the almonds with enough dressing to coat lightly.

Mound salad in center of 4 plates. Re-whisk dressing and drizzle a little over and around salad. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds and sesame seeds.

* The only thing I did differently was buy pre-shredded carrots and added shredded red cabbage.  Half cup of each.  I broiled the chicken on low for about 20 minutes and didn't let it sit in the fridge first (short on time), and still felt the end result was divine.  Also, because I was in a hurry and rushed through directions, I added all ingredients to the marinade (including vinegar and scallions) and it was fine.  As you can tell in the pictures, I forgot to add the sesame seeds and almonds. Shoot. 

I took this salad over to a friend's house for an impromptu dinner date this weekend and I've enjoyed the leftovers since.  If I had used the entire head of cabbage (I only used half) and all of the carrots and red cabbage and a bunch of cilantro, I could easily feed 10 by cooking more chicken and adjusting the marinade proportions.  Go ahead, give it a try.

Enjoyed with: a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc.  Suggestion: Kendall Jackson


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