Cool Steamed Chicken & Cucumber Salad

by Cookie with 2 comments
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It has been a steadily scorching hot & humid summer in Dallas, so when I happened upon this recipe the other day, it called out to me like a promising oasis in the middle of the desert (one s!).  Cool, crisp cucumbers against lightly flavored, cold chicken. The perfect meal when it is way too hot outside to even think of heavy or rich food.
This was my first time steaming chicken, and I must say I am really pleased with the flavor & juiciness! What  a healthy, hot, and delicious way to prepare chicken! Definitely is a great alternative to grilling or boiling your chicken to maintain much more flavor and nutrients.
Check the recipe below, slightly modified from the original on the great little blog Taste Hong Kong. You will notice I did not do such a lovely job arranging my cucumber & meat so nicely as they did. This is because I am neither that talented nor patient! When my mother would look at the disarray of crap on my desk, I’d tell her it was my “horizontal filing” method. Please consider my version the Pollack to their Da Vinci. :-)
Servings: 3-4 entree size; 6-8 appetizer size servings
Ingredients:

  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (You could also use drumsticks or breasts if you prefer)
  • 3 inch piece of ginger
  • 5 scallions/green onions
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cucumber

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 TB sesame oil
  • 1 TB vinegar
  • 1 scallion/green onion
  • 1/2 inch piece ginger

Steps:

  1. Grate 2 inches of ginger into a bowl. Add salt & pepper to form a paste.
  2. Place chicken on a plate and stab all over with a fork. (Stab! Stab! Stab! It’s morbidly fun!)
  3. Rub the ginger paste all over the chicken and set aside while you prep everything else.
  4. Julienne the ginger & green onion:

    • For the ginger, cut the remaining 1 inch of ginger into very thin coins. Stack the coins and cut very thin strips.
    • For the green onion, cut the white & light green end off. Cut the green into thirds. Grab the first third and start slicing very thin julienne strips lengthwise down the piece of onion. Repeat for all sections.

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    • Take the white ends of the onion and cut off the root. Then slice the white part in criss-crosses to make a little fan on the end. Place these ends in warm water so they will open up into flowers.

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4. Cut the cucmber into thin strips.
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5. Sprinkle the cucumber strips with some salt and massage it for a minute. It’s fun! then rinse & drain the cucumber and place in the fridge to chill.
6. Make the sauce:

    • Finely chop the green onion and julienne the 1/2 inch piece of ginger
    • Whisk all the sauce ingredients together & set aside

7.  In a tall enough sauce pan or pot, place about 2-3 inches of water and place your steam rack on top of that. Turn the heat to high.
8. Arrange the chicken pieces to lay flat on the steamer rack. Distribute the julienned ginger & onion on top of the sleeping chicken. Cover the pan and let the chicken steam for 10 min. If you are using meat with the bone in, you will need to steam for at least 15 min.
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9.  Prep a large bowl with ice & cold water.
10. Check the chicken at the time limit. Poke a piece of chicken and then press down. If you see clear juices run out, you are done. If it’s pink or bloody, keep cooking!
11. Once the chicken is done take the chicken out and immediately plunge into the ice bath to stop cooking. Let it sit there at least 5 min.
12. Shred the chicken with your hands or two forks. I used my hands this time and I really like both methods!
13. On a plate, arrange some cucumber strips in a mound. Stick a green onion flower in the middle. Pile the chicken an top the cucumber and around the onion flower. Drizzle everything with some sauce & serve with a smile!

You can definitely let this chill longer, but even the short amount of  time I had made for a very cool and refreshing dish.
Enjoy!
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- Cookie

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