Just last week(ish), I shared with you all how my allergy to green peppers indirectly prevented me from ever tasting tomatillos. Today, my imaginary internet friends, I’m going to tell another terrible tale: The Most Lamentable Tragedy of Bake Up, Little Suzy’s Exclusion from the Whole of Asian Cuisine.
(I know. The title needs work. It’s a little wordy.)
Bell peppers are not my only edible allergens. I’m also allergic to ginger, coffee, curry, and horseradish. And that bizarre combination not only kept me from coffee house poetry slams in the 90’s, but also excludes me from enjoying the cuisine of Asia to this very day.
I’ve long dreamed of preparing meals that feature the genuine flavors of China, India, Korea, Thailand—but I’ve never really tasted them, out of fear of, well, dying. So I’m attempting to learn about entirely unfamiliar flavors, in utterly inauthentic ways.
I begin today with this fresh and crispy, savory and sweet, salty and crunchy salad. Now I’m assuming that normal people who don’t share my allergies will add ginger to the dressing or the marinade or both. But I found this salad delicious, satisfying, and not at all deadly without it.
Continue reading for the Sesame Chicken Salad recipe.
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 14 ounces chicken breast tenders
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 romaine hearts, coarsely chopped
- Chopped cilantro
- Sliced scallions, green part only
- 11oz can mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- Baked or fried wonton strips
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
- Whisk together soy sauce, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, and garlic powder; add the chicken pieces and marinate 15 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the chicken, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook for several minutes on each side, gently turning the chicken, until the meat is firm and no pink shows in the middle.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Cut into slices.
- Bring the vinegar just to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat then stir in the sugar. Let cool.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cooled vinegar with the remaining salad dressing ingredients except the canola oil. Slowly pour in the oil while whisking.
- Toss the lettuce with the salad dressing and toasted sesame seeds, and divide between four plates. Top with chicken, cilantro, scallions, orange slices, almonds, and wonton strips.