Who remembers James Clavell’s, Shogun which aired on NBC in 1980? The miniseries aired five nights between September 15 and September 19, 1980. It starred Richard Chamberlain as John Blackthorne. Between Shogun and The Thorn Birds, also a miniseries, every female in our house was hooked on Richard Chamberlain, including my mother. If you are over the age of 45, you know what I’m talking about. Younger gals, you should check both of these miniseries out.
So what does Richard Chamberlain have to do with today’s blog? Well…nothing really. However, his portrayal of a Japanese Shogun feeds into today’s recipe because the flavors are masterful and worthy of notice.
It’s a new year and we enjoyed lots of sweets and treats over the past two or three months. It’s now time to refocus on eating healthier recipes so we can drop a few pounds before Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day.
I recently ran across a recipe in a tiny diner in the small town we live. It was a most unexpected surprise and one I felt many of you would love as well. The diner called it Teriyaki Chicken Salad. I’m calling my version, Shogun Teriyaki Chicken Salad because the dressing I came up with is a master. The diner only offered their normal dressings as an accompaniment and I felt it needed an additional Asian flavor. I could eat this salad every.single.day as it has three of my favorite foods: chicken, carrots and sugar snaps. It just makes me happy. I hope you will try it. It’s healthy, low carb and super quick to put together for a weeknight meal or brunch.
For this recipe, I would have to say the flip is simply the combination of ingredients presented in a way that is not typical. You do not normally think of fresh salad greens mixed with cooked veggies but that’s what I’m about to tell you to try. SO….what exactly is Teriyaki? It’s a cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine in which foods are broiled or grilled with a glaze of soy sauce, mirin and sugar or honey and other seasonings such as ginger and garlic. The noun teri refers to the shine or luster given by the sugar content and yaki refers to the cooking method of broiling or grilling. For this, the chicken is grilled but you could easily bake in the oven, basting with the glaze during the cooking process. I used a grill pan but certainly if you have an outdoor grill, by all means.
Most grocery stores carry Asian products so mirin (aka sake) and rice vinegar are pretty easy to find. If you cannot find these in your local grocery, there are bottled teriyaki sauces available but if you are watching sodium, you probably want to look for one with lower sodium contents. (Psst! A little secret – this would be great even if you left off the teriyaki marinade and just baked the chicken with your favorite seasonings in the oven BUT the teriyaki marinade gives this a lovely flavor and worth the extra effort.)
The Recipe: Shogun Teriyaki Chicken Salad
Ingredients for the salad:
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (for 2-4 people)
1 head romaine lettuce
1 small red onion, sliced
1 green or red bell pepper, sliced
1 small bag fresh sugar snaps
3 carrots, sliced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 T olive oil
1 t Tony’s seasonings or to taste
½ t salt
½ t. pepper
¾ c homemade teriyaki sauce (recipe to follow) OR use store bought
- Marinate chicken breasts in teriyaki marinade for 1 hour before grilling or overnight if you have the time.
- Grill chicken on grill pan or outdoor grill. Baste two to three times with remaining marinade during the cooking process. Discard marinade after. (Note: if baking, place chicken on a wire rack inside a sheet pan for best results. Bake at 375 until internal temperature is 160 degrees – about 25 minutes.)
- While chicken is grilling, heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onions and peppers first. Sauté’ until slightly softened. Add carrots, sugar snaps and season with Tony’s, salt and pepper. As veggies began to soften, add in mushrooms and sauté’ until all veggies are still slightly al dente’. Remove from heat.
- Wash and prepare romaine as you would for a normal salad.
- After chicken has cooled 5-10 minutes, cut into cubes or strips.
- Plate each person some romaine, top with veggies and chicken. Serve with Sesame Dressing. (Recipe to follow.)
For Teriyaki Marinade:
½ c soy sauce (use reduced sodium, if needed)
¼ c mirin
2 T light brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t ground ginger
- Whisk all ingredients in a mixing bowl until sugar is dissolved.
- Place chicken in a shallow dish or Ziploc bag. Make sure chicken is coated well and marinate at least 1 hour or overnight. Remove from marinade and pat dry before grilling or baking.
- Baste with marinade two to three times during cooking.
- Discard marinade after basting process is complete.
For Sesame Dressing:
½ c. Mayonnaise
5 T Rice Vinegar
2 T Sugar 2
2 T Sesame Oil
1 ½ T Soy Sauce
¼ t Garlic Powder
¼ t Black Pepper
- Pour all ingredients into a jar and shake until well combined.
- Chill in frig until serving time.