food 4 tots

Chinese chicken salad

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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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RECIPE FOR CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD

Servings: 2 -3 persons

Ingredients:
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

Salad dressing:
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

Methods:

  1. 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.
  2. Prepare all the ingredients.
  3. 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.

Notes:

  1. 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.
  2. You can also substitute poached chicken breast with store-bought roasted chicken. For vegetarians, substitute with tofu (pan-fried).
  3. To make the baby butterhead/ salad green cruncier, soak it in an icy water for 5 minutes and then drain.

 

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61 Comments

  1. Thanks for the healthy chicken salad, it looks delicious and I am sure lots of meat eater will turn to it. It is really a must in our diet to have plenty of vege, just look at he way the WHO changes the shape of the food heirarchy.

    • food-4tots says:

      Joanne (CP): I highly recommend this dish to you because you don’t need to do any wokking and the sauce is really very appertizing. ;)

      • My whole family likes to eat salad, especially my hubby (surprise!!!), he is the one who always prepare salad for us (surprise again!!!). I will show him this recipe and I am sure that this dish will be on our table in his next serving :)

  2. Selba says:

    Wow! The salads look so appetizing! I can finish those whole two plates :D

  3. Chin says:

    This is really meticulous and ingredients heavy. Nice.

    • food-4tots says:

      Chin: Tks!! Salad is a very versatile dish. Mine is only a suggestion. You can combine any ingredients based on your personal preference and drizzle over the dressing. Easy-peasy, right?

  4. It’s been quite a while I did not prepare salads. We use to have salads most of the time during busy days for our lunch/dinner. And My hubby and gal enjoy it very much. After reading your blog, I think I can go back with salads dinner again. ^-^

  5. email2me says:

    If the chicken is grilled the salad taste better. Just like the way Nandos serve their chicken salad.

    • food-4tots says:

      Email2me: Hmmm…I haven’t tried Nando’s salad before but personally like Coffee Bean’s salad. I do agree with your suggestion. Tks for sharing.

  6. Kevin says:

    That is one really nice looking chicken salad!

  7. mycookinghut says:

    Nice.. I love salad so I will not say NO to this one!!

  8. juhuacha says:

    I rarely eat salad. I hope this recipe can convince me to change my eating habit as well. Will the chicken breast be too tough after sitting in the hot water for 20 mins?

    • food-4tots says:

      Juhuacha: No, this method will not make the chicken breast tough. Alternatively, you can use store-bought roasted chicken. If this is your 1st attempt, I suggest that you choose the ingredients you like and ignore the rest. Then drizzle over the dressing. Do not use too much of dressing as it will cause the salad to be very watery. Happy salad day! ;)

  9. WOW! this is lovely and so deliocus! :)

  10. Alice says:

    Hey! friend, I am more than happy to join you! I’m also a salad lover but not my 2 King and Prince! Hopefully one day I can convince them too. Nice simple chicken salad!

  11. Hong CN says:

    Nice sharing on this. I like the way you write and the preparation details. Definitely will give this a try on my daughter :-) Have great days :-)

  12. Christine says:

    I would definitely join you. Light and healthy salad is my all-time favourite too. My hubby also didn’t like salad. He said the light salad won’t give him enough energy and he would feel hungry very soon. He must have something like bread, noodles or rice to fill up his stomach. Recently I spot some changes in his eating habit.

  13. Dora says:

    Very healthy! Have a great week. :D

  14. Ching says:

    Your salad looks delicious! I am still not used to eating salad as a main course even though I have been living in the States for so long. :P

  15. Cynthia says:

    Love your new home. Your chicken salad is inspiring. I’m working on a recipe for one for my column this week.

  16. allenooi says:

    nice photo! just my thought, the second photo can try focusing at the back and making the front bowl to be blur. will look nice too.

    i also seldom eat salad. but from your photos, it looks tempting!

  17. Little Inbox says:

    I looks great! I would love to try it out, but I have no idea what is Dijon mustard. Can I skip that?

    • food-4tots says:

      Little Inbox: It is advisable not to skip Dijon mustard if you want to get the right taste for this dressing. I think you may be able to find it at Jaya Jusco or Cold Storage, Penang. Take a look at this article to know about the difference between Dijon and other mustards: http://www.ochef.com/284.htm. Hope it helps and happy trying! ;)

  18. homeladychef says:

    Yeah me!! Hands and legs are up too! Can I join…?

  19. I would love to have a plate of this delicious salad now!! so colorful and fresh!!

  20. peanutts says:

    Hi, thanks for visiting my blog. You salad looks yumm , My hubby maybe very supportive :) but getting him to his veg is more difficult thank my 2 year old heheh. He freaks out if he sees me buying spinach or any green leaf for that matter .

    • food-4tots says:

      Peanutts: This is the 1st time I come across a small veggie lover like your son. It must be the results of your excellent training. Keep up the good job! ;)

  21. noobcook says:

    A healthy and beautiful salad. The dressing sounds delicious! =)

  22. tigerfish says:

    Wow, the name “Chicken Salad” may sound so simple but actually, it takes some patience, time and effort to prepare all the ingredients. Gorgeous professional photos!

  23. Beautiful salad! Sounds delicious with sweet corn and snow peas.

  24. wei says:

    Winner salad! Loving it! I replaced the chicken with ham & turkey breast slices, it’s yummm!!!

  25. Chinese Recipes says:

    yummmmmy… i love it

  26. Yum yum. This salad sounds full of all necessary nutrients, healthy and delicious.

  27. shu shu says:

    Hi, I am first time visitor here.
    I found your website because I was serching for recipe on chinese salad.
    I noticed that the salad uses mayo, sesame oil and olive oil, may i know how much calories it produces?
    Would it be too fattening for the people who are on diet?
    Thank you!

    • food-4tots says:

      Shu Shu: Hi, welcome to my kitchen! I am not sure of the calories. Maybe you can do a search from the website. Which kind of diet are you referring to? If you are concerning of the calories, there are 2 options you can consider. 1st, reduce all the seasonings used for the dressing by half. 2nd, just drizzle a little bit of the dressing over the ingredients. If both ways don’t work for you, then you may need to find another dressing to subsitute it. Hope it helps. ;)

  28. Diana says:

    That looks so good! I found with my husband that small changes can totally redirect his eating habits. When we first got married he wanted meat with every meal. I started using small amounts of meat, like a salad with crumbled bacon or a little chicken. Now we eat salads and other vegetarian dishes 3-4 times a week!

  29. Elsie says:

    Hi.. my sister sent me your webpage address and i’ve been mesmerised by all your yummy looking recipes. I have a question on the use of wine in this salad recipe. Won’t the alcohol be dangerous to kids? I’m planning to prepare this recipe for my son.

    • food-4tots says:

      Elsie: First, thanks a lot to your sister for introducing my website to you! Also, thanks to your sweet comments. Rice wine vinegar or rice vinegar (白米醋) used in this recipe is not rice wine(米酒). When making rice vinegar, the fermentation process (for rice wine) goes one step further, adding bacteria to turn the alcohol into an acid as mentioned in this link. Hope it helps.

  30. Anpanman says:

    Hi there,

    Was wondering, can I substitute the rice wine vinegar with lemon juice?

    Thanks!

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