Japanese Cooking; Chicken salad with Skinny Sesame Ginger dressing

I am originally from Japan and, one of my favorite salad dressing manufacturer from there is called “Pietro“.

They make such a wonderful salad dressing with various flavors such as Ginger dressing, Balsamic soy sauce dressing, plum perilla dressing, sesame dressing,onion sesame soy dressing etc..

My husband is not a fan of cucumber but when my mother put this dressing over cucumber and other salad ingredients (we eats salad everyday with meal back there at least 2 times a day.Morning is usually either rice or toast base main meal plus a couple of side dishes,salad and fruits.Dinner is usually rice base and you get side dishes, and they are accompanied by salad too. ), he could eat it.

The company website says that kids who hates vegetables would eat the vegetable willingly with their magical dressing but I think it true:-) I always think that, cooking method, type/variety of source and really really good sauce can change the kids’ reaction to the offended food ingredients.

I am a good example for that. I used to hate fish very very much but with my mother’s patience and so many trials with cooking method, sauce, type of fish etc.. I could eat fish and you would not believe that I would prefer the fish over steak now if I were offered choice to pick the dinner plate from. Her patience paid off really good.

Anyway, pietro dressing is really good and great for salad, great for pasta sauce, great for sauce for grilled meat such as chicken or fish and when I make my own version of their dressing, I can use it in my fried rice dish because I do not use a lot of oil in my dressing.

When you eat salad, you feel good about eating lots of greens and vegetables with or without protein source such as grilled chicken but, it is not healthy to drench the salad with dressing.

The commercially made dressing is basically seasoned oil if you will, and if you read the label on its back of the dressing bottles, you can see so many companies use sugar or corn syrup or any other sweetener in top 3 ingredients in the list.

Not only that, if you pick up *fat free” dressing, yes, it has less calories than its regular version of the dressing, but it is not great for you.

As I wrote in the previous entry titled “People food for thought Part XX; Fat free products and DIY Ricotta cheese” you can compared them and see fat free sounds good to your ears but not really good for your body.

Here is an ingredients list for particular brand’s fat free ranch dressing.

Water, Corn Syrup, Vinegar, Sugar, Whey (from Milk), Modified Food Starch , Contains Less than 2% of Salt, Soybean Oil (Adds a Trivial Amount of Fat), Dried Garlic, Xanthan Gum (lab made binder), Artificial Color, Phosphoric Acid, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Dried Onions, Spice, Natural Flavor, Potassium Sorbate and Calcium Disodium EDTA (to Protect Flavor), Caramel Color.

If you take the original ranch dressing from the same company, ingredients are as followings.

Soybean Oil, Water, Vinegar, Buttermilk, Sugar, Egg Yolks, Salt, Contains Less than 2% of Modified Food Starch, Whey, Xanthan Gum, Garlic (Dried), Phosphoric Acid, Parsley (Dried), Natural Flavor, Onions (Dried), Spice, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Sorbic Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA (to Protect Flavor).

As you see, later ingredients list has more recognizable real food ingredients in the list and list is a little shorter than “Fat free” version of the dressing. Also, if you pick regular one, since company does not have to add in anything to the products to look/taste/ similar texture or consistency of the products, you will get more recognizable ingredients in the list even though you would still see chemicals in it because products has to have shelf life for stores to sell the products to the customers..

If you make the ranch dressing on your own, basic ingredients you would need are sour cream,mayonnaise,garlic powder,onion powder,herbs, and salt and pepper. No need to add coloring agent or preservatives or starch or anything to mimic the real thing.

Therefore, I would like to encourage you to make your own salad dressing without filler with much simpler ingredients list. Making the dressing is not difficult. It is 5 minutes job.

We do not have store bought dressing in our fridge all the time. When we have salad, I make dressing for it 99% of the time. Now and then, when we go to Asian store, we get one bottle of pietro dressing but that is about it.

It is also fun to create the various flavors as salad dressing too. Not only that, you have the total control on amount of sugar, amount of oil and it is much more healthy for you.

The other day, I made grilled chicken salad, and our dressing was skinny sesame ginger dressing.

My husband loved them and said that the taste is similar to our favorite Pietro dressing.

I thought I would share the recipe here with you so you can make your own sesame ginger salad dressing.

Chicken SAlad with Ginger sesame dressing

Yassy’s Grilled Chicken salad with skinny sesame ginger dressing..

Ingredients for Yassy’s Grilled Chicken salad;

Ingredients;

1 chicken breast
McCormick steak seasoning
Extra virgin olive oil
handful of shredded raw carrot
handful of  raw baby spinach
a little bit of thinly sliced raw red onion
raw cherry tomato
Romane lettuce
cucumber
Italian bread without crust
Emeril’s essence

Ingredients for Yassy’s Skinny Sesame ginger dressing;

Ingredients;

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp grated ginger
1/4 tsp white sugar
1/8 tsp sesame oil
ground sesame seed

<Grilled chicken>

1.pound the chicken breast and season it with steak seasoning and cook it in the screaming hot skillet with Extra virgin olive oil and slice them to bite size pieces.

<Vegetables>

1.Chop various vegetables you can find in your fridge for the salad. I have added handful of shredded carrot, handful of  baby spinach, a little bit of thinly sliced red onion, cherry tomato, romane lettuce, cucumber

If you have roasted corn on the cob, you can use the corn for the salad too. You got raw sweet peppers? Use that for the salad.

The tip to make the red onion less zing to your nose is that, you will need to slice the red onion really thin and wash them under the running cold water and keep it in the small container with water enough to cover them.

This way, you would not have too much zing from raw red onions.

<Croutons>

Cut the Italian bread without crust into bite size pieces and put them in the small bowl. Then, drizzle some extra olive oil and season them with Emeril’s essence

Then, bake them to crunch at about 425F oven until edge gets brown

<skinny sesame ginger dressing>

Mix 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp rice vinegar, 1/4 tsp grated ginger, 1/4 tsp white sugar,1/8 tsp sesame oil and sprinkle ground sesame seed

Drizzle it over your dressing.

You can double or tripe the recipe for the dressing as needed.

Enjoy!


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Oct 27, 2015 | 0 | Asian cooking 911

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