Sesame Chicken Salad
This was inspired by a well-known Chinese dish known as cold noodles with sesame oil. The exotic flavors, combined with mayonnaise, make a terrific dressing for chicken salad. I like to add the dressing to the chicken when it is still warm, so that the meat absorbs more of the flavors of the dressing. The sesame paste and rice vinegar can be bought in Oriental or health food stores.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Equipmentblender, food processor
Taste and Texturecreamy, nutty, salty
Type of Dishmain course salad
- 3 large, whole chicken breasts (1 pound each)
- 6 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons sesame paste
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Lettuce leaves, washed
- 2 scallions, with 2 inches of green stem left on, sliced thinly
- Freshly ground pepper
Place the chicken breasts in cold water in a 4-quart pot. The water should cover the chicken breasts. Slowly bring the water to a boil and poach the chicken breasts at a bare simmer for 5 minutes. Cool the chicken in water for 15 minutes. Remove from the water. Tear off the skin and separate the meat from the bones. Shred the chicken into pieces about 2 inches by 1 inch.
Combine the peanut butter, sesame paste, mayonnaise, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Combine the dressing with the chicken and serve immediately, or marinate for 2 hours.*
To serve, place the chicken salad on lettuce leaves and garnish with sliced scallions.
1981 Michele Urvater