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Chinese Chicken Salad & Goji Berry Dressing

August 8, 2015

Aromatic Chinese spiced poached chicken with fresh crisp vegetables and a delicious goji berry, chili and ginger dressing.

Chinese Salad with Goji Berries / http://bamskitchen.com

You are just going to love the tender chicken that has been poached in a bath of warming cinnamon, star anise, green onion and ginger broth which is chopped and tossed with cooling crisp julienne cut veggies and drizzled with a delicious delicate sweet goji berry, chili and ginger dressing and topped with crunchy sesame seeds.

It sounds as great as it tastes and it even tastes better the next day. This little dish is a little East meets West recipe. You would never in your right mind eat raw vegetables in China or cold salads. In the Western world you would never in your right mind be putting Chinese Medicinal herbs intentionally into your salad.

Chinese Salad with Goji Berries / http://bamskitchen.com

Well today I am doing both! I am crazy that way and I am going to be downright intentionally conflicting. I am bringing the warm in with the cold, the yin with the yang. I am going to do my best to make East and West join as one delicious union.

I have now lived in Hong Kong (HK) for 6 years and that time has flown by so quickly. I remember when I first arrived here from Japan, it was difficult. It was much more difficult for our family assimilate to HK than to Japan even though many people spoke English here. We felt like outsiders, we did not know the language, customs and of course the boys could tell you all about the strange fear factor foods... (sea cucumbers, 1000 year old eggs, chicken feet, things with tentacles..you know the usual teenager stuff)

Chinese Salad with Goji Berries / http://bamskitchen.com

When you first move to a country you feel like everyone is staring at you.  You stick out like a sore thumb with your maps of the trains and subways fluttering about, your attire does not look like anyone else and you look lost (well that is probably because you really are..)

Today, no one stairs at me as I walk through the streets of Hong Kong. I use an umbrella to shade myself from the summer heat and sun. My clothes are from Hong Kong. I don't need a map to find my way. I help an elderly lady with her grandma cart on to the public bus and make sure she is seated in the priority seat before the crazy bus driver takes off like a bat out of hell. (She still does not smile nor thank me in Cantonese but I know one day she will remember me when we are on the bus together) I now drink my water at room temperature and not with ice cubes, even in the middle of August.

Chinese Salad with Goji Berries / http://bamskitchen.com

What does all of this have to do with  a Chinese Chicken Salad & Goji Berry Dressing recipe you may be asking???!!! The salad represents me and how I learned to conform to my new environment. I was initially a cold crisp salad and not able to conform to the norms of society. I met some beautiful warmhearted friends (my star anise, cinnamon, ginger and spring onion poached chicken) and they shared with me some delicious goji berries to turn my rice vinegar, sweet. This salad is both yin (cooling) and yang (heating) with each of its different ingredients but it balances perfectly.

Chinese Salad with Goji Berries / http://bamskitchen.com

My body has been craving sweet and delicate taste of goji berries. Goji berries (Wolfberries) are neutral food they are neither warm or cool according to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). They are known to be high in antioxidants, iron and help nourish the liver and kidney. I love snacking on plain dried goji berries right from the package but they are also good in teas, desserts and are a great super food. You can find goji berries in Asian grocery stores or even purchase them online at Amazon. If you cannot find goji berries, you can exchange with sultans (raisins), the light-colored ones would be best.

Chinese Salad with Goji Berries / http://bamskitchen.com

You can use any vegetables you have in your crisper that you would like in a salad. the only thing to remember is to try to cut the vegetables all in the same size so it is easier to eat and also marinate best when they are julienne cut or you can use a mandolin.

Chinese Salad with Goji Berries / http://bamskitchen.com

You can exchange rice vinegar for apple cider vinegar if you want to make this paleo friendly but I just used what I had in my pantry. Chinese Chicken Salad & Goji Berry Dressing is gluten-free, cardiac friendly, low-fat and low carb. If you are following a diabetic friendly diet, you may want to omit the goji berries and sweeten the dressing with a sugar alternative.

Chinese Salad with Goji Berries / http://bamskitchen.com

I made extra goji berry dressing to go on top of the delicious Chinese Chicken Salad & Goji Berry Dressing. I don't know exactly where all the dressing goes but it disappears overnight...This recipe is delicious to make the day before as they vegetables, spices and goji berries all have a chance to marinate. Just before I serve it the next day, just toss and add a little more dressing to the salad. This is a perfect dish for a picnic, a dish to pass at a shower and is great to bring into work/school lunches.

Wishing you a super day!

Chinese Chicken Salad & Goji Berry Dressing / http://bamskitchen.com/div>

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Chinese Chicken Salad & Goji Berry Dressing

By HWC Magazine  , , , , , , , ,   

August 8, 2015

Aromatic Chinese spiced poached chicken with fresh crisp vegetables and a delicious goji berry, chili and ginger dressing.

  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yields: 2 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager

Ingredients

Chinese Poached Chicken

chicken breast - 2 boneless and skinless breast halves or one whole

ginger - 1 inch knob fresh sliced (can exchange with 1 teaspoon dried)

cinnamon - 1 quill (or exchange 1 teaspoon dried ground)

star anise - 3 whole (or exchange with 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spiced powder)

spring onions - 3-4 white part only

salted water - enough cold salted water to cover the chicken

Salad Fixings

rice vinegar - 2/3 cup or 160 ml

sugar or sugar alternative - 4 teaspoons ( can also use honey, low glycemic coconut sugar or sugar alternative of choice)

ginger - 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated

chili - 1 red Julienned sliced (to taste) I used a milder chili

goji berries (wolfberries) - 1/3 cup dried

Carrot - 1 Julienned sliced or cut into match sticks

snow peas - 3/4 cup julienned sliced or cut into match sticks

olive oil - 4 tablespoons

sesame oil - 2 teaspoons

sesame seeds - 3 teaspoons (white toasted)

salt - to taste (omit if on low sodium diet)

white pepper - to taste or about 1/4 teaspoon

green onions - 3-4 green parts sliced

Directions

1In a wok on a pot place in your chicken breasts, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, spring onions and enough cold salted water to cover the chicken.  (If you do not have fresh herbs and need to use ground, please note that these will darken the chicken colour. If you use fresh fresh the chicken will stay white.) Place a lid on top of the wok or pot and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes and skimming off the fat during this time. Once the chicken has simmered for 5 minutes and you have skimmed the residue at the waters surface, turn the burner off and keep the lid on the chicken for 30 minutes so it continues to slowly cook the chicken.

2Make the Goji Berry Marinade: In the mean time, combine the following items together so they have a chance to pickle and marinate together... In a medium bowl add rice vinegar, sugar or sugar alternative, ginger, chilis, goji berries and carrots for 30 minutes.

3Drain the water and remove the spices from the poached chicken and slice the chicken. (I sliced mine in Julienned slices to keep it the same size as the other salad fixings. ) Set aside to cool.

4Make the Goji Berry Salad Dressing: Drain the pickle marinade into a separate bowl from the rice vinegar, sugar or sugar alternative, ginger, chilis, goji berries and carrots as you are going to use this to make your salad dressing. Add to this drained pickle marinade your olive oil, sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt and white pepper to taste. Mix well. (IMPORTANT: Set aside half of the salad dressing for use for later as the dressing soaks in and needs to be topped off with the dressing just before serving)

5In a non reactive bowl, add Chinese poached chicken slices, pickled marinated carrots with goji berries, snow peas, green onions and 1/2 of the goji berry salad dressing mixture. Toss well. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. The goji salad dressing soaks into the salad during this time.

6Just before serving you Chinese Chicken Salad & Goji Berry Dressing drizzle the other half of the reserved goji berry salad dressing on and toss. Garnish with additional toasted sesame seeds and spring onions. Enjoy!

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  • Bobbi, I must have Chinese blood in me as I always drink my water at room temperature with no ice. I shall try the goji berry dressing for sure 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      So glad to hear Tandy your body will thank you years to come for drinking room temperature water…Thanks for the tweet dear!

  • safie

    Wow, looks so delicious. Can’t wait to give a try tonight. It’s perfect for summer.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Safie, you are so sweet. You know that you are the representation of the sweet goji berries and warming spices that has made our transition to HK a breeze. Hugs to you my dear friend!

  • Amazing how we can acclimate even when we think we can’t! I always drink my water at room temperature. Cold water gives me a brain-freeze (as if I have brains, lol). The salad looks amazing and I loved your story! Wishing you great weekend, Bobbi!

  • Wonderful tale of your assimilation into the Hong Kong society.. and a stunning, healthy recipe that I can’t wait to try! My daughter is big into this sort of dish and I love the spices you’ve used so I know it will be a hit! So nice to be here today, Bam! xx

  • kitchenriffs

    I really need to use goji berries one of these days — I know all about them, just haven’t used them. And I have no excuse not to — my local supermarket stocks them. I also need to try drinking water at room temperature — I’ve read so much about how healthy it is (both from you, but other places). Anyway, great dish — thanks.

  • I enjoyed reading your post and that salad looks wonderful with all those different flavors. I love the dressing. I enjoy my water with a piece of lemon and have it at room temperature . My German mom thought ice cold drinks were unhealthy and coke could kill you.

  • Wow, this looks like such a great salad, and so pretty and colorful, too–will add to my pins 🙂 I don’t know if I could get use to water without ice–I had been to Guatemala years ago for several weeks, and they did not have ice in their drinks either–I really missed the ice!

  • Hi Bam, I always drink my water room temperature, but have just recently started putting in ice and lemon for dinnertime. Love your yin and yang salad and the crisp veggies are perfect in here.

  • This was such a lovely post to read, Bobbi, and I feel like I was watching you comfortably walk the streets with your umbrella, help the elderly lady on the bus and easily navigate your way through the markets. What a challenge it must have been when you first arrived! I love your fusion dish and the flavours are a perfect mix. I put goji berries in my protein shake every morning and am a firm believer in them.
    I don’t drink my water room temp. I know it’s good for you but just can’t get it down, lol.
    Really enjoyed this. And will have lots of fun sharing. Hope you’re having a blast with your son’s homecoming. Can only imagine the stories! Did he see whales?
    Have a great day 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Robyn. I am also elated to hear that you put goji berries in your smoothies in the morning, they are so good for you and give that little bit of natural sweetness.
      My son has had plenty of beautiful photos, stories, wilderness first aid training and memories that will last a lifetime. No whales on this trip as they were in the Talkeetna Mountains. Take Care

  • Ohhhhh…..I loved reading about your adjustment to life in Honkers! I can totally understand – it’s a culture shock that’s for sure! I only visited for a holiday, I can imagine how overwhelming it was to move there. And the boys – how fabulous that they have adjusted so well. Are they eating 1000 year old eggs for brekkie every day now? He he!!!

    I LOVE the fragrant broth you’ve used to poach the chicken! And GUESS WHAT? I’ve had goji berries in the pantry for ages, no idea what to do with them!! I think this is MEANT TO BE! 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks so much Nagi! Of course the boys have seafood congee with thousand year old eggs every morning… LOL- NOT.. they much prefer your breakfast favorites.
      I love goji berries and they are lovely in the vinaigrette. They really balance this dish and glad you have a handy dandy bag right in your pantry. Have a super week.

  • thesurprisedgourmet

    Sounds like your adjustment to Hong Kong has been an intriguing learning experience. I like the ying and the yang in this dish.

  • Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe and equally fun stories about assimilating in such foreign and new surroundings. This dish looks so healthy, light and delicious!

  • It’s amazing to think what strides you’ve made and how settled you are in Hong Kong. It is not easy…I imagine it would be hard even for someone like me (who was born in HK) to move back and adjust. I love how you’ve settled into HK but have added so much of yourself and your background into life there. This salad is such a great example. It looks very refreshing – that chicken has to be so good!

  • Ooh, Bam, I really enjoyed reading about your experience getting used to living in Hong Kong. I sort of understand because I lived abroad (in Greece) for a very long time, too, and yes, things are pretty strange at the beginning. Then a while later you feel so at home and it’s as if those times never happened….
    The salad sounds just delectable … there are so many incredible flavours in it and it’s so healthy, too!

  • I love this post and how this salad represents your life in HK. What an incredible experience! I’m totally in love with your poaching broth – with all of those warm spices, I think this is going to be my new favorite method of cooking chicken as the summer draws to an end. I’ve never tried goji berries, but see them at my local farmers market. I’ll have to pick some up and give them a try 🙂

  • hotlyspiced

    It’s good you know feel very comfortable living in HK. My sister lived in Beijing for 10 years and last weekend she was telling me how the Chinese believe it is very bad for you to drink cold water and so when you order a water in a restaurant you are always given hot water. She said they don’t even give cold water to children. I do like the sound of the broth you poached the chicken in; it would flavour the chicken beautifully xx

  • Great ingredients you put all in here, Bam. Undoubtedly Chinese with a twist. Vibrant, healthy, tasty salad – that’s how we see this dish 🙂

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  • yum! salad looks amazing! Healthy and tasty! I love it!

  • Bobbie, I simply adore how you use this salad to represent what you have learned these past 6 years! And saying your “…beautiful warmhearted friends (my star anise, cinnamon, ginger and spring onion poached chicken)… shared…some delicious goji berries to turn my rice vinegar, sweet.” – LOVE LOVE LOVE your beautiful words! And LOVE LOVE LOVE this Eat meets West salad!

  • Loving this! The flavors look so fresh and crisp and summer-y… Love the east meets west vibe too 🙂 You’re so creative!

  • I love that all your veggies are matchstick:) I am definitely trying all those fragrant spices for your poaching broth. I think I might just poach all my chicken in that broth from here on out!

  • I feel just like the 6-years-ago you, but thankfully the people I’ve met have been really friendly and patient. I often have goji berries in soup and I remember my mom always telling me that it’s good for the eyes (improve eyesight or something) but despite me eating quite a lot of them, I still ended up with short-sightedness haha. Love your goji berry dressing, I’ve spotted them in the Asian grocer, think I’ll grab one next time!

  • Looks beautiful and sounds very delicious! Love goji berries! Pinning and sharing!

  • What a nice combination of Eastern and Western ingredients, its so contrasting yet it matches well.

  • The flavors, colors and textures are stunning. I feel inspired. Thanks for sharing.

  • Christine

    I’ve never poached chicken because it never made sense to me. It seemed like letting all the flavor run out into the water. But, here at least, the water is flavored and now I get it. Major ah ha moment. Love your story, too, about gradually working your way into the culture in Hong Kong. I’m so intrigued by Asia. I’ve never been.

  • I am so excited to try the goji berry dressing. I went a bit nuts a while back and bought a GIANT bag of them, but I’ve run out of inspiration on what to do with them outside chucking them in my morning smoothie. Hope you are well lovely one, and enjoying your balmy winter. We had snow during the week, so not yet salad weather, but pinning to try as soon as it is. 🙂

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  • Moving is hard enough much less moving to a country where you can’t speak the language. I can’t imagine the culture shock you went through, but it does seem that you’ve impressed it all during your 6 years. Goji berries is one of those ingredients that I know have but have never used. My SIL gave me some a while back and had no idea how to use them. Now I know. Great salad!! Thanks for sharing this!

  • skd

    Beautiful colors and flavors. Very appetizing

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