Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing Recipe


The Alaska from Scratch CookbookWhen my mother was still alive and living on the Big Island of Hawaii, I would make occasional trips to visit her and my younger brother. As soon as I would step off the plane, the humidity and the heat were formidable, particularly when one is accustomed to the climate in Alaska. While there, I would often help cook. I would crave crisp green salads, fresh fruit and vegetables, and any excuse not to turn on the oven. Once I made a version of this chicken salad with a bright, acidic sesame dressing. After that, my brother requested I make this salad every time I returned to Hawaii. The vibrant rainbow of colors in this salad reminds me distinctly of my mother and the bright color palette she used when painting tropical Hawaiian flowers and birds.

This recipe is highly adaptable and forgiving. Use what you have that is seasonal and available. In place of snow peas, try snap peas or edamame. Napa cabbage would be splendid in exchange for the red cabbage. For added crunch, toss in some crispy fried wonton strips as well. To finish, I add a few drops of fiery hot sesame oil to my own plate. I love the bright red color of the oil and the way the heat sneaks up on you.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


For the Teriyaki Chicken
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
For the Sesame Dressing
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
For the Salad
  • 16 ounces mixed greens
  • 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 cup fresh snow peas
  • 1 large carrot, shaved into ribbons
  • 0.33 cup sliced green onions
  • 0.33 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 0.33 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Hot sesame oil, for serving
How to Make It
    To Make the Teriyaki Chicken
  1. In a shallow dish, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger until the sugar is dissolved. Submerge the chicken in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the grill to medium high. Grill for 10 minutes, turning once, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 165°F and the juices run clear. Remove from the heat to rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the chicken with the sesame seeds and slice on the bias.
  2. To Make the Sesame Dressing
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha, soy sauce, and granulated sugar until well combined. Set aside until ready to serve.
  4. To Assemble the Salad
  5. Place the greens in a large bowl. Add most of the cabbage, bell pepper, snow peas, carrot, green onions, cilantro, almonds, and sesame seeds, reserving some for the top of the salad. Drizzle on half of the sesame dressing and toss the salad well to coat and combine. Top with the remaining toppings and the sliced chicken. Drizzle the remaining dressing over top. Serve promptly with hot sesame oil on the side.

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