Chicken salad is one of the most balanced meals out there. It’s a versatile meal that doesn’t have any particular recipe. The idea with a chicken salad is to meet the right amount of protein and fiber without needing to eat high-calorie food.
Since there’s no real recipe for preparing it, chicken salad can have different flavors. It can be tangy, smoky, and creamy depending on the dressing and leafy greens that you’ll use.
Knowing what goes with chicken salad will help you prepare a complete meal that’s pleasing to the palate.
What Kind Of Chicken Salad Are You Making?
Among these spices include palm sugar, five spice, star anise, turmeric, paprika, and cinnamon. I also use leafy greens that are easier to get in my region.
Ingredients like kale, mint, and rocket are hard to get in Asia, so I opt to use cabbages, carrots, tomatoes, and Thai basil.
With that said, there are so many variations of the chicken salad. Hence, you can’t make a list of what goes well with it. Instead, you should be aware of what taste goes well with another.
An example of this is if you’re making a spice-oriented salad with dense flavors, then your side should be very light and cool to the palate. On the other hand, if you’re making a dressing based on oil and light seasoning, you can opt to serve it with a sweeter side.
Asian-inspired Chicken Salad: Served With Steamed Halibut Or Teriyaki Salmon
When we’re dealing with an Asian-inspired chicken salad, we want to pair it up with another Asian dish. The reason for this is Asian cuisine regional, and it doesn’t mix well with other cuisines like that in Europe.
However, it’s important to remember that even in strong-flavored Asian dishes, the light-to-heavy matching is still important. After all, we don’t want to abuse our palate with overpowering flavors.
Usually, an Asian Chicken Salad makes use of dressings that are salty and citrusy. A very iconic dressing which we will use for the salad is made from a sweet and salty blend.
Particularly, some of the main ingredients of the dressing are fish sauce, Thai basil, and calamondin. Here’s the recipe below:
Asian Chicken Salad
- Thai basil (a stalk)
- Olive oil (3 tablespoons)
- Calamansi (4 pieces)
- Chili (1 big piece)
- 2 cloves of garlic (Pureed)
- Palm sugar or brown sugar
- Fish sauce (two tablespoons)
- Baby cabbage
- Romaine lettuce
- Carrots (ribboned)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Grilled chicken breast
To begin, start by incorporating all the ingredients for the dressing. Start by first placing the garlic and chili in a pestle and mortar. This will allow you to pound it until it turns into a nice thick paste.
Afterward, proceed to add the palm sugar, oil, fish sauce, and Thai basil. Mix it up until everything incorporates. Squeeze in the calamondin as a final touch.
For the salad, there’s no rule when doing it. Add as many of the ingredients listed as you want. For example, if you’re a fan of carrots, put a lot of them.
Ribboned carrots are usually done by using a vegetable peeler. This will make it a lot easier to season with the dressing.
Finally, season chicken breast with salt and pepper and grill it on a griddle pan.
Serving it with Teriyaki Salmon
Teriyaki salmon is a delicious dish that’s light on the palate if cooked right. Salmon is a nutritious fish that takes in a lot of flavors, but still, has a mild flavor on its own. Eating chicken salad is great because of this.
Ingredients: (Teriyaki Salmon)
- Salmon fillet
- Ginger and garlic (Grated)
- Mirin/Rice wine (2 tablespoons)
- Sugar (3 tablespoons)
- Salt & Pepper
- Corn starch
- Soy sauce (5 tablespoons)
To start with the salmon, make the teriyaki sauce by adding in grated garlic and ginger along with the sugar. Afterward, dissolve it using the mirin and soy sauce, and add a little cornstarch and water mixture to thicken.
Then, only Season the salmon steaks with salt & pepper and fry it skin-side down. Let the food crisp up a bit and add in the teriyaki sauce. Bring it to a simmer until the salmon is cooked through.
European-inspired Chicken Salad: Served With Ploughmans Or PB&J Cookies
For our next take, we’ll go west and serve the chicken salad with a European-inspired bread and dessert.
Chicken salad in Europe is mainly dressed with a light vinaigrette. However, some countries can even opt to dress it with creamy dressings like mayonnaise and mustard mixture.
Other countries use dairy products like feta cheese and greek yogurt.
The chicken salad of the West uses almost the same ingredients from the Asian one. It will tweak some things, like using mint instead of Thai basil. However, the lettuce and other leafy greens will remain.
The only big difference is in the dressing, here’s a sample of a creamy chicken salad dressing:
- English mustard
- 3 egg yolks
- Olive oil
These three ingredients make up a mayonnaise. You’ll add a tablespoon of mustard and whisk it carefully with the egg yolks. You’ll then slowly incorporate olive oil while whisking.
This sort of mayo can be enhanced even further. A neat trick is to add anchovies and parmesan cheese for added saltiness to your dressing.
Serving It With Ploughman’s Or PB&J Cookies
The decision is up for you to make. Do you want to eat your salad with a light buttery bread? Or do you want to opt for a sweeter side like peanut butter and jelly cookies?
The cookies will give you a sort of break from the heavy cream that the chicken salad is dressed with.
On the other hand, if you want to be full with your salad, try to learn how to bake basic bread like the good old Ploughmans. Both of these sides are cooked, so you’ll need the basic baking ingredients like flour, butter, eggs, and baking powder.
For a more comprehensive tutorial on making ploughman’s and peanut butter and jelly cookies, please refer to these videos:
Wrapping It Up For “What Goes With Chicken Salad?”
At the end of the day, a chicken salad’s flavor will depend on the dressing you use. And so, what you serve will be affected by the dressing as well. Just always remember, if you’re going for a healthy Asian dressing, counter it up with a light saucy side.
For instance, the mellow flavor of the salmon coupled with a light and sweet teriyaki sauce is a great cleanser for a spicy dressing.
On the other hand, creamy dressings are usually heavy on both the palate and the stomach. Hence, light snack-food is an excellent choice to keep your taste buds refreshed and your nutrition balanced.
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