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Chinese Chicken and Cashew Salad

I can thank my mother in law, Kathy, for this recipe which she shared with me many years ago. The original recipe was served with deep fried cellophane noodles which add some extra crunch, but I don't often feel like deep frying on a warm day so more normally serve this salad without them.

The cashew nuts and sesame seeds can be toasted in the oven while the chicken is cooking. I like to add a diced avocado to this salad sometimes.

Serves 4


  • 1 free range deboned chicken or 4 large chicken thighs with skin on (approximate weight 800g)


  • 1 tbs Chinese Five Spice

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 tsp ginger, grated

  • 1 1/2 tbs soy sauce

  • 1 1/2 tbs rice wine


  • 1 tbs honey

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

  • Sea salt and Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar

  • 1/2 tbs sesame oil

  • 3 tbs olive oil


  • 1 tbs sesame seeds, toasted

  • 50g cashew nuts, toasted

  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced

  • 1 large cos or romaine lettuce, washed and shredded

To Garnish

Extra toasted sesame seeds, chopped coriander


Mix the marinade ingredients together and spread it all over the chicken, covering both sides. Place in a dish, cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight if possible.

Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together or add them to a jam jar with a screw top and give it a thorough shake to emulsify.

Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180F/400F/Gas 6. Remove the chicken from the fridge about 20 minutes before you plan to cook it and then roast it for 20-30 minutes. The time will depend on the thickness of the meat, so check that the juices run clear by cutting into the thickest part. If there is any sign of pinkness then return to the oven for a further 5 -10 minutes.

Once cooked, set aside to cool and then remove the chicken skin. Place this in a roasting tin and return it to the hot oven for a further 10 minutes until it is crispy and then use scissors to snip it into smaller pieces.

Assemble the salad. Spread the lettuce on a large platter and sprinkle with the spring onions. Drizzle with dressing. Slice or tear the chicken into pieces and scatter over the lettuce. Top with seeds, nuts and the crispy chicken skin then garnish with the coriander. Serve with extra dressing.

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