Grilled Chicken & Asparagus Salad with Thai Inspired Dressing

I love Thai flavours. The sweet, sour and spicy of Thai dishes are always so perfectly balanced. With such hot and humid weather these days in Hong Kong, I thought a Thai style salad would be pretty perfect as a light lunch or supper.

One of the key things in Thai salads is that they usually use herbs as their salad leaves, mainly Thai basil and fresh mint. They would have one main vegetable, such as the green papaya, plus the various fresh herbs to make the salad even more vibrant and refreshing.

Here’s my Thai-style salad. Of course, feel free to mix and match the herbs and vegs to your liking.

Batch 5 - Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Salad_2_V2

Ingredients

6-8 thick green asparagus
1 piece chicken breast
1 green chili, seeded and thinly sliced
50g roasted peanuts, crushed
8 pieces cherry tomatoes, sliced
handful of fresh mint and cilantro leaves combined
Salt and black pepper to taste

Grilled Chicken & Asparagus Salad Ingredients

For the Salad Dressing:
1 shallot, finely diced
25ml rice wine vinegar
15g dark brown sugar
1 lime, halved
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 thumb size ginger, grated
1 small red chilli pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sesame oil
60ml olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Salad Dressing

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Pat dry the chicken breast, drizzle some olive oil on top and season with salt and black pepper. Place chicken on baking tray and roast in oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until chicken breast is cooked through. Take out and set aside
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Snap off the tough end of the asparagus, then cut the asparagus into 2 inches pieces. Cut thicker pieces in half, lengthwise. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and place in cold water to cool down. Pat dry and set aside.
  3. To make the dressing, mix all the dressing ingredients together and whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  4. To make the salad, put the cooked asparagus in a big bowl. Add the chopped green chili, sliced up tomatoes, mint leaves and cilantro leaves. Add a few spoonful of the salad dressing and toss to coat the ingredients.
  5. Arrange asparagus on a serving plate. Tear the roasted chicken breast into strips or you can cut them into thin slices. Scatter chicken over asparagus.
  6. Drizzle more dressing over the salad and top with crushed peanuts. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately.

Batch 5 - Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Salad_v2

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Photos courtesy of DayDayCook

Summer is here!

I love all the colourful fruits and vegs available in the summer for me to mix and match them in my recipes. It makes grocery shopping so much happier and more enjoyable. Picnics and barbecues always come to mind. And although fried chicken, grilled meats, potato salads are usually the stars of these gatherings, I love to make a few refreshing sides to go alongside these heavier and indulgent dishes.

So …. making good use of a summer fruit, here is the recipe for my refreshing

Watermelon Salad with Fresh Mint and Olives

Watermelon Lime Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1/2 small baby seedless watermelon (or you can use a few slices from a big watermelon)
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil
  • 10 – 12 pitted black olives
  • 30g feta cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Dice up the watermelon into cubes and take out the seeds if any. Place them in a big bowl.
  2. Finely slice the red onion and cut the pitted black olives in half. Place them in the same bowl as watermelon. Toss to mix together.
  3. Pick out the leaves of the mint and basils and add them to the watermelon.
  4. Add in lime zest and juice. Season with salt and black pepper. Taste and see if you need to add more seasoning.
  5. Spoon into serving platter or bowls, and top with crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top and serve.

Enjoy!

 

Essential Vinegars for Your Pantry

Vinegars are great for salad dressings and sauces. With so many choices out there, how do we know which ones to use and which ones are the most versatile? I love having a few bottles of different vinegars in my pantry so that I can make any kind of salad dressings for lunch or dinner. Aside from salad dressings, vinegars are also great to add a depth of flavour to your marinades, stews, soups and sauces.

Blog Posts - Essential Vinegars 2

Here are five most common cooking vinegars:

  1. Red Wine Vinegar

This is a fantastic all –purpose vinegar that is made from fermenting red wine. It is rich and fruity. Use it for salad dressings, marinades or even in soups if you want to give them an extra zing! Keep in mind that if your dishes are pale in colour (ex. Cream sauce), red wine vinegar may discolour them.

  1. White Wine Vinegar

This vinegar is of course made from white wine, and it is a bit mellower than red wine vinegar. It is also preferred over the harsh distilled white vinegar because white wine vinegar will not over power the flavours in your dish. It will help to brighten up and add a refreshing taste to rich sauces and vinaigrettes.

Blog Posts - Essential Vinegars 3

Grilled Corn Salad with White Wine Vinegar Dressing
  1. Balsamic Vinegar

A lot of people are familiar with this dark brown vinegar which is made from unfiltered, unfermented grape juice. The process is very similar to wine making where grapes are pressed and aged. The older the vinegar, the sweeter and thicker it is. Balsamic vinegar is great to bring some sweetness to a dish. Its flavor is very distinct and I love using it to marinate meats to make dishs such as sticky grilled chicken wines or pork ribs. It is also great for beef stews and it can even be used in desserts!

  1. Rice Vinegar

This vinegar is most commonly used in Asia such as China, Japan and Korea. It is made from fermented rice wine. Rice vinegar is mild, subtle and is probably the sweetest out of all the vinegars. One common uses for rice vinegar is seasoning for sushi rice. I love using this vinegar to make dipping sauces and Asian style dressings.

  1. Cider Vinegar

This vinegar has a hint of apple flavor because is made from pressed apples that are allowed to ferment to become alcohol and then vinegar. The flavor is mellow and sweet, making cider vinegar very versatile. I love using this in homemade barbecue sauce and even for some mild pickling. It is a great everyday use vinegar for dressings, marinates and soups and can be a substitution for red wine vinegar.

Blog Posts - Essential Vinegars 1

Kale Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Olives, Pine Nuts and Cider Vinegar Dressing

Here is a Chinese version of this post on the Day Day Cook website. (Translation courtesy of Day Day Cook Editorial Team).

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My cooking video on Chicken Soba Noodle Salad with Sesame Sauce.