Chicken Salad With Lemon-Sesame Dressing
This main-dish salad is inspired by chicken larb, which is a dance of contrasts: light but rich, with tender meat, crunchy vegetables and seasonings that span sour, sweet, spicy and savory. This recipe dresses lean-but-juicy ground chicken or turkey with sesame oil, fresh lemon, miso, ginger, basil and celery, but there are many ways to adapt it: You could sauté crumbled tofu or cubed salmon instead of the chicken; or add yuzu kosho, wasabi paste or fried garlic. It’s good on its own, or with roasted potatoes, grains, salad greens, soba noodles or wrapped in nori.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, plus more for serving
- 1pound ground chicken or turkey
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼cup white or yellow miso
- 1large lemon, zested and juiced (about 1 tablespoon zest and 3 tablespoons juice)
- 1 ½inches fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
- 3celery stalks, thinly sliced, leaves reserved
- 1cup basil leaves, large ones torn in half
- 2tablespoons black or white sesame seeds, or a combination (or furikake)
Step 1In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium-low. Add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cook, breaking up into small pieces, until opaque and just cooked through, 3 to 6 minutes. (You’re not looking to brown the meat here, which would risk drying it out.) Remove from heat to cool.
Step 2In a large bowl, stir together the miso, lemon zest and juice, ginger and 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil.
Step 3When the chicken is no longer hot (warm or cool both work), use a slotted spoon to add it to the bowl with the dressing, leaving any chicken juices behind. Stir to combine. Add the sliced celery, celery leaves, basil and sesame seeds; stir to combine. Taste, and if it needs more spice, add black pepper; if it’s bland, add salt; if it’s dry, add sesame oil. Eat warm or at room temperature. (Leftovers will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)