Grilled chicken salad with white sesame dressing 鶏肉と椎茸の胡麻和え

japanese cake
This another example of making-a-dish-from-whatever-we-have. We had a left over grilled chicken thigh with salt. I decided to make a small Japanse-style salad with sesame dressing or “goma-ae” ごま和え. I often make similar dishes with some variations depending on what I have at a given moment.

Dressing: I first saute white sesame seeds (3 tsp) in a dry frying pan for a few minutes (although the sesame seeds are bought already roasted) this brings back the fresh toasted flavor. I tip the sesame seeds (reserving a few for a garnish) into a Japanese mortar or “Suribachi” すり鉢 and, with a pestle, grind the seeds until they are coarsely cracked and some oil comes out. You can smell the nice roasted sesame. Then, add 1 tsp of tahini or “shiro negi-goma” 白練りごま and 1/2 tsp of sugar, 2-3 tsp of soy sauce. I also add a very tiny amount (1/2 tsp) of rice vinegar but this is optional. The vinegar will add a subtle sourness as wel as lighten the color of the dressing.

Chicken: I just slice the one left over grilled chicken thigh with salt into small strips.

Scallion (1-2): I char the outer skin of a large scallion (white parts) over a direct gas flame for 2-3 minutes. Let it cool a little, remove the charred skin and cut into 1 inch long segments. I slice the remaining green parts into thin strips diagonally for a garnish. 

Cucumber (1 mini or 1/3 Japanese cucumber): I thinly slice one mini cucumber, salt and mix and let it stand for few minutes. I ring out the excess moisture and dress it with a small amount of sushi vinegar. 

Shiitake mushroom: I happened to have fresh shiitake mushrooms. I grilled 3 with the stem removed in a toaster oven for few minutes and cut into small strips and dressed it with a small amount of soy sauce while hot.

Mix all the above ingredients and dress with the sesame dressing. Garnish with thinly sliced scallion, Campari tomates, and sesame seeds. It is an extra step but dry roasting the sesame seeds makes a big difference.

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