Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Chopped Salad

The Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Chopped Salad is a harmonious blend of vibrant flavors and textures, embodying the essence of Asian-inspired cuisine. This dish artfully combines the robust flavors of ginger, sesame, and hoisin with the freshness of napa cabbage, carrots, and cilantro, creating a culinary masterpiece that is both nourishing and delightfully flavorful. The process of crafting this salad involves marinating and grilling chicken to perfection, preparing a dressing that doubles as a marinade, and assembling a colorful, crunchy salad that is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

Ingredients Enhancement

Dressing and Marinade

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce: Provides a savory umami base, balancing the flavors.
  • 2 Tbsp finely minced ginger: Adds a spicy, pungent kick that’s essential to the dressing.
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil: Ensures the dressing emulsifies properly, adding a mild flavor that doesn’t overpower.
  • 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce: Offers sweetness and depth, complementing the ginger and soy sauce.
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil: Brings a nutty, rich dimension. Using regular sesame oil as a substitute still adds sesame flavor.
  • 1 tsp Sriracha: Introduces a mild heat; adjust according to your spice preference.
  • 1/2 tsp salt, more to taste: Essential for enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dressing.
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar: Adds acidity, brightening up the dressing and providing contrast.
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions: Offers a mild, slightly sweet onion flavor that complements the dressing.


  • 2 (9 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts: The protein component, offering a lean yet flavorful base.
  • 1 lb napa cabbage: Provides a crisp, slightly sweet backdrop for the other salad components.
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups matchstick carrots: Adds color, sweetness, and crunch.
  • 2/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted: Introduces a nutty crunch and visual appeal.
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped: Brings a fresh, citrusy note that elevates the salad.
  • 3 chopped green onions: Enhances the salad with a mild onion flavor and a touch of color.
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted: Adds a delicate nutty flavor and decorative touch.
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds: Provides a striking visual contrast and additional sesame flavor.

Methodology: Crafting the Dish

  1. Marinate the Chicken: Combine soy sauce, minced ginger, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, salt, red wine vinegar, and green onions in a bowl to create the marinade. Reserve a portion for dressing the salad. Marinate the chicken breasts for at least 30 minutes to infuse them with flavor.
  2. Grill the Chicken: Grill the marinated chicken over medium-high heat until it’s thoroughly cooked and slightly charred, adding a smoky flavor. Let it rest before slicing it into thin strips.
  3. Prepare the Salad Base: Toss thinly sliced napa cabbage with matchstick carrots in a large salad bowl, creating a colorful and crunchy foundation.
  4. Add Crunch and Nuttiness: Mix in the toasted almonds, cilantro leaves, and additional chopped green onions, distributing them evenly throughout the salad.
  5. Combine and Dress: Add the sliced grilled chicken to the salad, pouring over the reserved dressing and tossing to ensure every component is evenly coated.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Sprinkle toasted white and black sesame seeds over the salad for a final touch of nuttiness and visual appeal.

Culinary Symphony

This Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Chopped Salad is a celebration of textures and flavors, where each ingredient plays a vital role in creating a dish that’s both complex and balanced. The interplay between the savory grilled chicken, the spicy and tangy dressing, and the crisp vegetables results in a salad that’s refreshing, satisfying, and full of depth. As you enjoy this salad, let the myriad of flavors transport you to a place where culinary traditions meet contemporary tastes, creating a dining experience that’s both familiar and excitingly new.