Healthy Recipe: Lemongrass-Poached Chicken with Cabbage Slaw
This recipe takes the Americanized “Chinese chicken salad” and upgrades it with even more colorful crunchy vegetables, a generous amount of fresh herbs, and an assertive ginger-lime dressing.
The chicken breasts are poached in a simple bath of chicken stock and aromatics, but if you’re looking for added flavor then try swapping half of the broth for a can of light coconut milk. Either way, the leftover poaching liquid can be strained and re-used as a soup base: Add cooked rice noodles, bok choy, sliced mushrooms, fresh herbs, some lime juice and a hint of fish sauce. Voilà — one meal becomes two.
For the chicken
- 1 quart (945ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- One 2-inch (5cm) piece fresh ginger, scrubbed and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1 lemongrass stalk, inner white bulb only, halved lengthwise
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
For the slaw
- 8 cups (450g) loosely packed Napa cabbage, shredded
- 2 cups (95g) red cabbage, shredded
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and julienned
- 3 large scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
- 1 cup bean sprouts (74g)
- 1/2 cup (8g) torn mint leaves
- 1/2 cup (8g) torn basil leaves
- 1/2 cup (8g) cilantro leaves
- Kosher salt and pepper
Optional garnishes for serving
- Chopped salted roasted cashews
- Store-bought crispy shallots
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Lime wedges
In a medium pot, combine the chicken broth, ginger, garlic and lemongrass. Bring to a gentle simmer over moderate heat. Add the chicken breasts, cover and reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer, flipping once, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a plate and let cool completely. Using two forks, shred the chicken.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together, plus 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.
For the slaw
In a large bowl, combine all of the slaw ingredients. Add the shredded chicken and gently toss. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the slaw between four shallow bowls and garnish with chopped cashews or crispy shallots and sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges.
Serving Size: 3 cups
Calories: 325; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 69mg; Sodium: 730mg; Carbohydrate: 43g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 29g