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Asian Chicken Salad


for marinade

2 T grapeseed oil

1 T rice vinegar

1 T raw coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

4 dashes of S&B

2 t plum sauce

for salad dressing

1.5 T tahini

1.5 T rice vinegar

2 T plum sauce

1.5 T toasted sesame oil

6 dashes of S&B

1.5 T raw coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

2 t liquid from manarin orange can

for salad

1 chicken breast

1/2 c chow mein noodles

5 oz mandarin oranges

2 handfuls of lettuce mix

1 small bunch of arugula

1/2 red bell pepper

1 c sugar snap peas


yield: 2 servings

This is a great salad for lunch or dinner. I can't lie, the chow mein noodles are my favorite. I like to get the noodles in the plastic bags because then I can see how dark they are and how thin. Sometimes if they come in the can they are pale and aren't crispy. Yuck. Crispy noodles are the key to this salad. Well that and the delicious salad dressing and fresh ingredients.

What's S&B?

S&B - Nanami Togarashi is a Japanese seasoning. My roommate in Chicago got me hooked on this stuff. It's a spicy powdered assortment of dried chili peppers, orange peel, sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed. I love to use it in soups or on noodles, or (in this case) salad dressing. You can normally find it in the ethinic section of the grocery store, or any grocery that specilizes in Asian cuisine. If you can't find it around, you can always get it online.

Start by marinating the chicken. Put the chicken breast into a bowl and add the marinade.

Stab the breast with a fork, this will let the marinade really soak into the chicken. When you've covered it in little holes, flip and do the same on the back.

Cover and put back into fridge for at least 30 minutes (for this dish I left it in for an hour) to marinate.

While your chicken is marinating you can make the dressing and prep the veggies. Put ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Taste the dressing and adjust to your taste, if you want it spicier, add more S&B, if you want it a bit sweeter, add more plum sauce. When you get it tasting how you like it, set aside until the salad is ready to be dressed.

Blanch and shock the peas. (You don't have to do this, but for this salad I like blanching.)

To blanch the peas bring a pot of water to a boil, you can add a little salt (about 1/4 t) to the water. When the water is at a full boil add the peas. It only takes 2 minutes to cook the peas so set a timer, it doesn't take any longer than that. You don't want to over cook the peas. Drain and add to ice bath.

Have the ice bath ready. This is "shocking". The ice water instantly stops the cooking, so the peas will stay a bright green.

You can prep the rest of the vegetables by slicing the peppers and peas, chiffonading the arugula, and tearing the lettuce into bite sized pieces.

Make sure your grill is clean. Turn it on high heat and scrub it with a grill brush. It makes it much easier to clean if the grill is very hot. Also you want the grill to be super hot when you put the chicken on it. I like to put a little oil on a rag and brush the grill before adding the chicken, just to make sure it doesn't stick. After cleaning it (I also scrub it after I cook the chicken) I close the lid and let it heat up for about 5 minutes before oiling it and adding my chicken.

Using tongs take the chicken out of the marinade and put on the grill. Shut the lid and set a timer for 4 minutes. LEAVE THE LID SHUT. Don't open it to see how the chicken's doing, just set a timer for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, rotate the chicken 45 degrees.

Again, shut the lid and set timer for 4 minutes. The more you open and shut the grill the colder it gets. So just open it to turn the chicken and then shut it.

After the second 4 minutes, flip the chicken over and repeat the same cooking process: 4 minutes, rotate 45 degrees, another 4 minutes.

After a total of 16 minutes, your chicken will be done. Put it on a cutting board and let it rest for 4 minutes.

You can check with a meat thermometer to insure it's cooked through if you're not sure. If it's 165, it's good to go.

As it's resting I toss the salad together, adding most of the dressing to the salad, and leaving just a bit to brush on the top of the chicken to glaze it.

Plate the salad on your plates and put the chow mein noodles on top. Slice the chicken at a slight diagonal to finish off the salad. 1 breast is enough for 2 salads. Enjoy.

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