Asian Chicken Salad with Wasabi Dressing

Photo: © James Baigrie

This delectable poached-chicken salad, packed with Asian pear, cucumber and bean sprouts, offers a double hit of wasabi. First, F&W's Melissa Rubel whisks wasabi powder into the dressing—a blend of mayonnaise, rice vinegar and sesame oil—then she garnishes the salad with crunchy wasabi peas.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons wasabi powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 heads Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 large Asian pear—halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup roasted wasabi peas, coarsely chopped

Preparation

  1. In a large saucepan, cover the chicken breasts with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is white throughout, about 12 minutes. Transfer the poached chicken breasts to a plate and let stand until cooled slightly, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the rice vinegar, wasabi powder, Asian sesame oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of water and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large serving bowl, toss the lettuce with the Asian pear slices, cucumber, scallions, bean sprouts and 2/3 cup of the wasabi dressing. Slice the chicken breasts crosswise 1/4 inch thick and lay the slices on top of the salad. Spoon the remaining wasabi dressing over the chicken breasts, sprinkle with the chopped wasabi peas and serve at once.
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