If you’re not fluent in Korean, the title translates to “Korean Chicken Salad (with Pine Nuts)“. And best news of all, it uses a supermarket precooked rotisserie chicken (at least my version). Other than a bit of chopping and measuring, you only have to use the stovetop to blanch the beans for a few minutes. I’ll toast to that!
This Korean chicken salad is made with a traditional pine nut dressing—no mayonnaise. It is light, creamy, nutty, and tangy, and certainly a healthier option for you. Always toast the nuts lightly to bring out the flavor, and then either finely chop or, as in this recipe, grind them in a blender. The gochujang and mustard add robust flavors, while the acidity from lemon juice ties everything together, brightening the taste of the dressing.
The original recipe indicates adding yellow mustard, but I went ahead and used Dijon. Other variations incorporate hot mustard, so it’s up to you which way to go. The Hubs thinks mixing Coleman’s brand hot mustard powder with vinegar would make a good acidic choice.
Korean Chicken Salad with Pine Nuts
- 8 oz. green beans, trimmed
- 1/2 cup + 4 Tbsp. pine nuts, divided
- 1/4 water
- 2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
- 1 Tbsp. gochujang
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded from a rotisserie chicken
- 3 cups red cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- Cook the green beans in a medium sauce pan of boiling salted water until bright green and crisp tender, about 3 minutes.
- Drain, then chill in a bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Drain, then pat dry, cut in half and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a dry skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Let cool.
- In a blender, process 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the toasted pine nuts to a coarse paste, scraping sides as needed, about 20 seconds.
- Add water, mustard, gochujang, lemon juice and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth and pourable, about 30 seconds.
- In a medium bowl, toss together shredded cabbage, green beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, the remaining dressing and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
- Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter, spoon the chicken over the center and sprinkle with the remaining pine nuts and scallion slices.
Recipe compliments of Milk Streets “Tuesday Nights” series