Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Tea-Smoked Chicken, Mango and Asparagus Salad with a Toasted Sesame and Soy Dressing

A simple salad to throw together - you could use any cooked chicken, or tea-smoke your own!

Tired of eating the same old salads? Bored of bland, dry, chicken? Want something that is equally delightful as a light meal or an impressive starter if you make the smoked chicken yourself?

All you need to smoke the chicken yourself is a wok, some foil, and either wood-dust, or a tablespoon each of tea leaves, sugar and raw rice. And you can make it a day or two before-hand, and just slice and serve.

More about that here.

Otherwise, you could use char-grilled, barbequed, or roasted chicken breasts, or even the leftovers from Sunday lunch and you will still have a delicious salad to go.

Keep the dressing separate, and you have a delicious lunch to take to work with you (or even make for your nearest and dearest, ahhhh). Got your tastebuds tingling? And it's only 262 calories per portion, or 131 calories as a starter! Serves two as a main, four as a starter. Here's the recipe:

Tea-Smoked Chicken, Mango and Asparagus Salad with a Toasted Sesame and Soy Dressing

Here's the healthier version - if you want it a bit more decadent, add sliced avocado, or some griddled lengthwise slices of courgette, a handful of cashew nuts and/or some toasted sesame seeds on the top and double up the dressing quantities (with an extra 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil, and 1 tbsp light olive oil, shaken/whisked until emulsified - you could add a little grated fresh ginger root if you fancy, or a small amount of finely chopped mild red chilli) and drizzle over the top instead of just tossing the leaves in it.

  • 2 smoked chicken breasts (or griddle/grill/roast 2 chicken breasts 125g each, brushed with 1/2 tsp oil, or use 175-190g cooked chicken) [approximately 328 calories]
  • 1 medium mango, just ripe (160g sliced mango flesh from the 'cheeks') [112]
  • 100g fine asparagus (woody ends snapped off) [29]
  • 80g salad leaves (I like baby watercress, or mixed baby leaves) [24]
  • 1 spring onion, very finely sliced on a steep diagonal [3]

For the dressing
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce [3] (use tamari if cooking gluten free/Paleo, or coconut aminos)
  • 1 tsp orange juice [2]
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil [23]

(Optional purple radish micro leaves to garnish, in case you were wondering what they were - not at all necessary, but look pretty!)

Cook the asparagus until just tender, then refresh immediately in iced water (you can steam for 3-6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks, or cook in boiling water, or even microwave for 1 minute, or until tender).

Cut the 'cheeks' off the mango, cut thin slices through the flesh, without cutting the skin, then scoop out with a spoon. See here for how to cut if you're not sure - but make the slices about 2mm thick.

Slice the chicken, on the diagonal into slices about 3-4mm thick. If you're not using my tea-infused smoked chicken, and you're cooking your own chicken, you could always marinade in a tbsp each of dark soy sauce and honey before grilling to give it some flavour and colour.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together, then toss the leaves in it immediately before serving. Divide the leaves between two plates (or four for starter portions), then top with the mango, chicken, asparagus and scatter with the sliced spring onions and enjoy!

If you enjoyed this, then why not have a go at my tea-smoked teriyaki trout/salmon?

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