cumin chicken salad

chicken salad (image comes from flyingroc on Flickr)

Image copyright flyingroc on Flickr

Worktime lunch is frequently a source of frustration for me. Sandwiches are OK for a while, but then I start to go stir crazy at the mundanity of them. Occasionally I’ll have a salad but there’s a lot of faff trying to keep the dressing separate until lunchtime.

sistema klip-it lunchbox for saladsRecently I was sent a compartmented lunchbox by Sistema. It’s genius: there are layers to keep different parts in, and a little pot for dressing, yet the whole thing slots back into a neat normal-sized lunchbox. In Heston Blumenthal at Home Heston clears up what destroys the salad leaves: surprisingly it’s not the vinegar component of the dressing but the oil. It seeps into tiny cracks on the leaves’ surface, and its for this reason you shouldn’t dress a salad until the last possible minute. With the separate pot for salad dressing this means you can dress the salad when you’re ready. This recipe shows it off really well: spiced chicken flavours with an Asian-style dressing. Nice and simple yet perfect for an office lunch.

Cumin chicken salad (serves 2):

2 chicken breasts, diced

1 teaspoon cumin powder

½ cucumber, cut into matchsticks

½ iceberg lettuce, shredded

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

For the dressing:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon tomato ketchup

Dash of soy

Few drops of sesame oil

  1. Toss the chicken in the cumin and fry for a few minutes until cooked through. Toss in sesame seeds and leave to cool.
  2. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients together and season to taste.
  3. To serve, put the chicken with the lettuce and cucumber and toss with the dressing.

Unusually for me, I’m using someone else’s photo. I completely forgot to take a picture of lunch, but it looked a lot like this! Thanks Flyingroc.

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