Zesty Asian-Lemon Chicken Salad: A Summer Delight

Embracing summer’s warmth? Refresh yourself with our Asian-Lemon Chicken Salad, an invigorating blend kissed with a hint of citrus zest.

Lemon: An Unexpected Star

Contrary to most traditional Asian salads, this dish features lemon as its unexpected highlight. The lemon’s mellower acidity compared to lime, coupled with its sweet undertones, makes it a standout. I love incorporating thin lemon slices right into the dish. The vibrant flavor is a game-changer! However, if you’re not into that zesty bite, simply let the lemon infuse its essence into the salad.

Recipe Tweaks: Making It Yours

The beauty of this Asian Lemon-Chicken Salad lies in its adaptability:

1. Desire a heartier meal? Toss in veggies like julienned carrots or cucumber.

2. Swap chicken thighs for boneless breasts, or, for the budget-conscious, even drumsticks.

3. Introduce Thai bird chili for a fiery kick. It’s transformative, but skip if you prefer milder flavors.

4. Not a cilantro enthusiast? Mint or Thai basil can make great stand-ins.

5. Adjust seasonings as per your preference – maybe extra garlic or a dash more of oyster sauce.
Now, let’s dive into crafting this masterpiece.


  • 3 slices of ginger (around 1/8 inch thick x 2 inches wide)
  • 1 fresh scallion
  • 1 pound of succulent boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine for a hint of depth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1-2 Thai bird chilies (finely chopped, optional for heat)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 a lemon (seeded and sliced paper-thin)
  • A pinch of salt, as needed

Steps to Perfection:

1. In a pot, boil 6-7 cups of water, flavored with ginger and scallion slices.

2. Introduce the chicken thighs. Once the water reboils, turn off the heat, secure with a lid, and let the chicken steep for 12-15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when their juices run clear upon poking.

3. As your chicken bathes, craft the sauce. Over medium heat, warm the oil in a pan. Sauté the garlic briefly, followed by the Shaoxing wine. Bring to a light simmer.

4. Simmering? Switch off the heat. Stir in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and oyster sauce.

5. Once your chicken’s cooked, plunge it into an ice bath. Shred it by hand into bite-sized wonders and transfer to a bowl.

6. Blend in the sauce, optionally the chilies, cilantro, and those enticing lemon slices. Mix well, season with salt, and you’re ready to serve!

Pro tip:

This salad pairs wonderfully with a chilled iced tea or white wine, making for a sumptuous summer treat! Enjoy the fresh flavors and beat the heat!

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