Mango Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger Dressing

by smokinchestnut

I’ve made this recipe twice and each time it had a drastically different outcome (my fault, naturally). The first time was when I took these photos. Everything came together flawlessly, with a perfectly moist chicken breast and a ripe, succulent mango. The flavors in this recipe come together really, really well. You’ve got fresh herbs, a spicy dressing, salty peanuts and crunchy cabbage. It’s an exotic chicken salad that’s surprisingly filling. It’s also a perfect spring or summer dish.

That is, if you get it right. Overall, the recipe is very straightforward – cook chicken, chop vegetables, combine EVERYTHING and bam! You have a delicious dinner. But the second time I made this, everything seemed to go wrong. First, I overcooked the chicken when it was simmering in water (wandering off is not recommended). And you know what’s more unpalatable than overcooked, boiled chicken? Nothing.

Then came the mangoes. Sure, it was winter when I made this and sure, winter is not the Time of the Mango, but I thought it would be fine. No. The mango felt ripe but once it was peeled, the flesh was hard, stringy and tasteless. The color of its flesh was not a vibrant, rich yellow but a sad, jaundiced color. Appealing, hm? So I angrily chucked the mango and we ate the salad with overcooked chicken. Rookie mistakes.

And while not every meal ends perfectly, this one can if you don’t wander off while cooking the chicken or if you buy mangoes when they’re in season. Both times I made this salad I doubled everything so that we had leftovers. The salad holds up very well the next day.

Mango Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger Dressing
serves 2 (can easily be doubled)
from Design Sponge

1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 medium sized Napa (or Savoy) cabbage, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small tomato, chopped
1 mango, thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds
handful fresh mint, chopped
handful fresh cilantro, chopped
handful roasted peanuts, very roughly chopped

Spicy Ginger Dressing:
2 tsp freshly-grated ginger
1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk. Then add chicken, cabbage, carrots, tomato, scallions, sesame seeds, mint and cilantro to the bowl and toss gently. Serve in a bowl and top with sliced mango and chopped peanuts. Then be grateful you doubled the recipe so that you have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.