Monday, August 31, 2009

"Asian" Chicken Salad

There's this rumor going around that some people are actually reading this blog and actually noticing when I go, say, three weeks without posting anything. Admittedly, it's partly out of mere exhaustion, but partly because I have heretofore been 90% sure that my mother is the only one reading. I really do take pictures of almost everything I eat in anticipation of posting some day. What I have in optimistic creativity I lack in follow through.

So, let's try this again. Here is last night's dinner. Not life changing, but since this type of dish is popping up on chain-restaurant menus across the country (including a certain Jack-in-the-Box in a certain rural Texas town I recently visited), someone must be eating it. We have elsewhere discussed my preoccupation with salads, and as I love these flavors, I much prefer to toss them together myself. With the exception of snow peas (and the dressing), 100% of the components of this salad can be found at farmers markets right now. So buy there if you can. The "Asian" is in quotes because I'm pretty sure no one in Asia eats anything similar to this....

"Asian" Chicken Salad
serves 2; total time 20 minutes, less if you have precooked chicken

4-5 leaves napa cabbage
4-5 leaves romaine lettuce
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
4 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1 inch thinly sliced cucumber
8-10 snow peas, julienned
2-3 scallions (green onions), chopped
2ish Tbsp chopped cilantro
2ish Tbsp chopped mint
small handful of peanuts, chopped
1 breast grilled chicken

for the dressing:
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 good blop of honey from the honey bear
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or sprinkle of dried will do)
1-2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil**
(optional, 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter and a squirt of hot sauce or sprinkle of red pepper flakes, for some kick)

  1. If your chicken breast is not already cooked (ala the Whole Foods prepared foods counter or rotisserie chicken aisle) grill it on your George Foreman, broil it in the oven, poach it in some water--whatever you like. Just get it cooked and slice it up.
  2. Divide salad ingredients into two bowls: do this as you chop them to save time and space. Whisk dressing ingredients together vigorously and pour over salads. Top with chopped herbs and nuts.
  3. Tada!
**Special note: sesame oil and toasted sesame oil are two very different things. Be sure you get toasted sesame oil for the best flavor.


  1. Abby - it's not just a rumor! Kyle and I read obsessively in Chicago and have probably made at least 70% of your recipes. Green au gratin is our new go-to dinner. Furthermore, the name of Abby Love gets a LOT of Abby HATE at our house when you disappear for weeks at a time. FIE we say. Glad you're back so that we can be artisan-wannabes from the city of Chicago!
    Melissa Garrett

  2. Hooray! Thanks for leaving a comment guys, and so glad you've found some things to eat around these parts!