Summer Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Salad 夏日照燒燒烤雞肉沙拉
Rena and I love salads, especially in the hot steamy summers. Growing up in Taiwan, there were only cabbage chiffonade (thinly shredded) and sliced cucumber paired with thousand island. It wasn't bad, but got pretty boring. When the burger joints came to Taiwan in the 80s, in came the iceberg lettuce (I think?). Of course it was much later when I found out in the U.S. how many different types of salad greens there are, each with its own distinct flavor and texture. Frisee, arugula, beet root leaves, radicchio, bib...just to name a few.
On this Friday night, I headed down to a pretty local supermarket (全聯) to see if I can whip up a good salad using super basic ingredients, you know, without any exotic European veggies and herbs -- yup I bought the good old iceberg lettuce. The key to making the salad greens good is to make sure you chill the leaves in ice bath then spin dry. This method makes even the most ordinary iceberg taste better. Crunchy icy cold iceberg will beat soggy warm iceberg any day. For the chicken breast, I used a simple teriyaki mixture of 1:1 soy to mirin, along with some fresh ground black pepper. Cooking chicken breast is a bit tricky, but if timed properly, you'll get a juicy and lean piece of protein. I used my Le Creuset grill pan, grilling about 3 to 4 minutes each side. The dressing was a simple balsamic Dijon vinaigrette.