Chinese chicken salad

Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients in the dressing. It is well worth it and you will mostly have them in the pantry if you like Asian-style cooking. This is one of my favorite salads.

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Serves 6

For the Sesame-ginger dressing
3 tbsp Chinese mustard
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 medium piece of ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp hoisin sauce (available in most supermarkets)
1/2 tbsp sweet chilli paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To make the dressing;

Put the mustard in a blender and then add the sesame oil, olive oil, honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce, sweet chilli sauce and salt and pepper (go lightly on the salt because of the soy sauce).
Give it a quick blend and check for seasoning.

For the chicken salad

1 medium Napa cabbage, washed and shredded
1 medium iceberg lettuce, washed and thinly sliced
1 medium romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 green bell pepper, julienned
1 cup snow peas, sliced
4 green onions, chopped
3/4 to 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 cup carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cup bean sprouts
6 chicken breasts, (6 oz each) cooked and diced
Garnishes for the salad
crispy wontons (available in supermarkets)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted

To make the salad

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, lettuces, peppers, snow peas, peanuts, green onions, carrots, beansprouts and diced chicken.
Toss together with the sesame-ginger dressing until well combined.
Divide the salad among 6 plates and garnish with the crispy wontons, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.

Caramel Salmon with Lime (CleanCuisine)

This is an unbeatable salad combination of Thai tastes, c/o Jill Duplex, a wonderful Australian cookery book writer. The flavors in this dish are chilli, cilantro, mint, sugar, lime juice and fish sauce, all perfect for a piece of delicate, rich salmon.
A really innovative, tasty, complex salad dish for either a main course or a starter.

Serves 4

4 thick salmon fillets, skinned (choose wild salmon, if possible)
200 grams bean sprouts
2 tbsps vegetable oil
50 grams fresh mint leaves, left whole
25 grams cilantro leaves, left whole
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 tbsps salted or dry roasted peanuts, crushed coarsely
1 lime, quartered

100 grams soft brown sugar
125 mls water
1 red chilli, finely sliced
3 cm knob of fresh ginger, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
4 tbsps Thai fish sauce
4 tbsps fresh lime juice

To make the sauce, use the ingredients in the “sauce” list only. Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small pan and bring to the boil, stirring.
Add the chilli, ginger and garlic and let it bubble away to reduce (but do not boil over!) for 4 – 5 minutes until quite syrupy.
Remove from the heat and add the fish sauce and the lime juice.

Cut the salmon into bite-sized pieces, about 3cm square and coat lightly in the caramel sauce.
Pour a jug of boiling water over the bean sprouts then drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the salmon quickly until caramelized, keeping the inside pink.

Combine the salmon, mint, coriander, scallions and bean sprouts in a bowl and toss well.
Strain the sauce and keep warm, if necessary, reheat.
Arrange on warmed dinner plates, spoon the warm sauce over the top and scatter with peanuts.

Serve with the lime wedges and plenty of steamed rice.