According to chef Martin Yan, acclaimed for his television cooking shows and cookbooks, Chinese cooking is essentially healthy and low-fat. That's the case with this recipe for melon chicken salad, a simply tasty dish to make for a summer meal.
The recipe is among those featured in an article in Cooking Light's July issue, in which Yan demystifies traditional, healthful Chinese cooking techniques.
His skill in balancing flavors and textures is evident in this main-dish salad -- sweet honey, salty soy sauce, tart vinegar, bitter daikon radish and savory chicken make an interesting interplay of flavors, while the crunchy walnuts and peanut butter contrast with the juicy melon.
You can use leftover or rotisserie chicken to make the dish on a busy weeknight.
Melon Chicken Salad
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
3 cups (2-by-1/4-inch) strips honeydew melon
3 cups (2-by-1/4-inch) strips cantaloupe
2 cups (2-by-1/4-inch) strips daikon radish
1 cup (2-by-1/4-inch) strips peeled English cucumber
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
Combine vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey and sesame oil in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add honeydew, cantaloupe, radish, cucumber and onions; toss well to coat.
Place 2 cups melon mixture on each of four plates; top each serving with 1/2 cup chicken. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cilantro over each serving; top each with 1 1/2 teaspoons walnuts. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 293 calories, 9.9 grams fat, 1.8 grams saturated fat, 22.6 grams protein, 32 grams carbohydrates, 3.7 grams fiber, 48 milligrams cholesterol, 383 milligrams sodium.