Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

Chicken and Cucumber Salad in Sesame Dressing

麻醬雞絲

It has been very hot recently though it’s not officially summer yet. I have started making Chinese salad for steaming evenings.

One of those I made often is this Chicken and Cucumber Salad in Sesame Dressing. It’s a very healthy and appetizing cold dish, and easy to prepare. I have a small trick in making this salad dressing, peanut butter! This dressing is a very classic one for Chinese salad/cold dish, such as spinach, firm tofu, or even cold noodle.

In this recipe, I use chicken breast. Surely boneless chicken thigh tastes better but it seems breast is a bit healthier. Well but it’s not that easy to keep the chicken breast moist and tender. The method in this recipe is the one I experienced and suits me the most. I know there are a lot more, so do tell me how you cook chicken breast.

Ingredients –
Chicken breast, 2, about 500g;
Cucumber, 1;
Ginger, 20g;
Toasted sesame seeds, a pinch;
Thai red chili, 1, optional;
Chili oil, optional.

Dressing ingredients –
Chinese sesame paste, 2tbsp;
Peanut butter, 1tbsp;
Light soy sauce, 2tbsp;
Sugar, 1tsp;
Sesame oil, 2tbsp, or olive oil.

How to do –
1. Chicken breast must be in room temperature. In a soup pot, put in plenty of water, put in the chicken breast and ginger, lid on, then in medium heat, slowly bring to boil, heat off immediately, don’t remove the lid, let the chicken breast cool down in room temperature slowly in the pot;

2. In a small mixing bowl, mix all dressing ingredients well, I don’t like the paste too runny so I won’t add too much oil. Have a taste, the dressing should be sweet, savoury and nutty;

3. Shred the cucumber;

4. While the chicken cools down, tear them apart into shreds;

5. Now layer the cucumber, chicken breast, and dressing from bottom to top, sprinkle a pinch of toasted sesame seeds on top, and one finely chopped red chili and a few drops of chili oil if you like it a little spicy. If not, then sesame oil is good enough;

6. Mix well!

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