Salad Obsession: Asian Chicken Salad with Snap Peas

My summer salad obsession continues. The best part about this recipe is the Mango Sesame Dressing.  I’ve been making it for years.  I use it on mixed greens, as a dipping sauce for chicken, or as glaze for vegetables on the grill.  Udon, traditional Japanese noodles, can be found in the most grocery stores or at World Market.  They cook in about 4 minutes and are delicious served hot or cold.  If you can’t find udon noodles, use whole wheat spaghetti as a substitute.  If you can’t find mango chutney, apricot preserves will work in a pinch. But then you have to call it Apricot Sesame Dressing. This is a great summer-time meal!

ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD WITH SNAP PEAS

mango

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed
  • 1 9-ounce package udon noodles
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts halves, cut horizontally in half, then cross-wise into strips
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Up to 1 cup Mango Sesame Dressing (see below)
  • Toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Prepare the grill for medium-high heat.
  2. For the chicken, rinse and pat chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper. Let the chicken sit like this for 20-30 minutes, covered, on the counter, before grilling.
  3. In the meantime, bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add salt (should taste like the ocean).  Cook sugar snap peas for 2 minutes in boiling water until crisp-tender.  Use a slotted spoon to remove peas from water and set them aside in a large bowl.
  4. Return water on stove to a boil. Break noodles into smaller pieces (I do this while they are still in the bag) and cook them until firm, about 4 minutes.  Drain and then transfer noodles to the same bowl.  Toss them with 1 tablespoon sesame oil to prevent sticking.
  5. Make sure the grill is hot and well-oiled. Put the chicken on the grill and cook it, covered, for about 6 minutes on each side. Remove it from the grill and let it rest, covered in foil, for 4-5 minutes before slicing.
  6. Add chicken, green onions, and toss with dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with toasted sesame seeds.  Deliciousness.

MANGO SESAME DRESSING:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup Major Grey’s mango chutney (apricot preserves works in a pinch)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

For the dressing, add oil, chutney, rice vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, mustard, and crushed red pepper to a blender. Blend on high until combined and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Adapted from epicurious.com

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