Since we first met till we got married, I have yet to see my hubby choosing salad as the main course for his meal. I also didn’t really put much effort to convince him to try. I blindly accept the fact that it is not so easy to change an adult’s eating habit as compared to a kid’s. Until recently. that was my perception. Well, now he loves salad!
When I told him that I will feature my rainbow seafood pasta salad in my recipe column «亲子厨房» in Kwong Wah Yit Poh, he agreed whole-heartedly and showed his full support by raising both his hands. Mimicking his father, my son did the same (not sure he understand what he is showing support for).
But, before this, there must be a catalyst that brings about this change, as well as a story behind it. Certainly, it was not the result of having a gun over his head. It was my homemade salad that did the trick.
It was in April, one day after a heavy breakfast, we didn’t have much appetite for lunch. The hot afternoon sun was warming up the house with debilitating heat. I was in no mood to face a steamy hot wok. So it gave me the opportunity to suggest having Chinese chicken salad for a light lunch. Much to my surprise, my hubby obliged without any complaint or grumbling. After trying out this salad, he gave me a thumb up, saying he liked it. He then agreed that eating salad is not as bad as he thinks. Besides, it also makes him feel healthier. It’s an ideal light meal on days when he had eaten too much “sinful” food. He also welcomed my idea of having more homemade salads for meals in future. I was secretly thrilled as I have always hoped he will get himself on the right track to a healthy lifestyle.
As for my son, ever since I introduced salad to him, he treats it as a “treasure chest”. The more he “digs”, the more “gems” he “finds”. He is thrilled by the find of raisins, seeds, tomato, sweet corns, cucumber, prawn, dressings…… Hehehe! It’s a joy to watch him eat his salad with such gusto!
This Chinese chicken salad recipe is adapted and modified from Steamy Kitchen. I had omitted the deep-fried wonton skins and mandarin oranges, and replaced with hard-boiled eggs, raisins, sweet corns and sunflower seeds. This appetizing salad dressing is also my all-time favourite. Cling!!!! Time for a healthy lunch! Anyone interested to join me?
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Servings: 2 -3 persons
1 poached chicken breasts – poached according to note (1) below and shredded with your fingers
2 hard-boiled eggs - cut into small wedges
1/2 Japanese cucumber - sliced thinly
½ ear of 1 sweet corn – steamed or boiled, kernel removed from cob
Handful of snow peas (around 10) – sliced diagonally (can be eaten raw or blanched over hot water and used shocking method to retain it greenness)
A few leaves of baby butterheads (or any salad green of your preference) – leaves torn or shredded
Handful of pine nuts and sunflower seeds – raw or lightly toasted
Handful of black raisins
3 tbsp honey (I used no water added honey)
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp sesame oil
1½ tbsp rice wine vinegar/ rice vinegar （白米醋）
1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (for mixing in step 3) – optional
- Prepare the salad dressing. Whisk together the honey, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard until very smooth. Then whisk in the sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. Cover with clip wrap and chill in the fridge.
- Prepare all the ingredients.
- Assemble the salad with all the ingredients. Drizzle on salad dressing. Alternatively, put all the ingredients in a salad bowl and mix with the salad dressing.
- How to poach chicken breast:
Wash the chicken breast. Rinse and pat dry. In a medium pot, add the chicken breasts and fill with water or broth 1inch above the chicken. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt to the water. Bring the pot to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Save the poaching liquid for cooking or soup. Besides salad, this poached chicken breast can also use it for Chinese congee. Just add it in when the congee is ready.
- You can also substitute poached chicken breast with store-bought roasted chicken. For vegetarians, substitute with tofu (pan-fried).
- To make the baby butterhead/ salad green cruncier, soak it in an icy water for 5 minutes and then drain.