Ben’s Asian chicken salad


Ben has been in bed with Gwyneth Paltrow for the past week.

I’m pretending not to care but as he laughs with delight at the recipes in her new book It’s All Good, I can’t help but want to join in.

For his inaugural Naturalista creation he chose his take on her spicy Asian chicken salad. It’s crunchtastic.

When we pile out of the street food van knackered and hungry after a long day loading and cooking, whatever we make for dinner needs to be quick and easy and 100% good for us. We always come home craving some healthy crunch, colour and nourishment, and this recipe has all that. It is also super quick to throw together in spite of the long looking ingredients list. You can adapt it according to what’s in the fridge, which in my mind is what easy healthy cooking is all about. 

You are meant to steam the chicken over infused water but I poach it instead as it saves you time and the chicken tastes much better. I have also added one of my favourite ingredients, sugar snap peas, into the mix to bump up the flavour and crunchy texture. 

We always use organic veg and meat whenever we can. 

Serves 2


1 head shredded red endive

1 head shredded green endive

4 finely sliced scallions

1 tsp Chinese 5 spice

1 clove garlic, crushed with a knife

1 inch peeled and chopped ginger

2 chicken breasts – organic or free range

1 head shredded little gem lettuce

1 carrot, julienned

3 tbsp chopped coriander

a handful of sugar snap peas

a handful of mangetout

a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds

a sprinkling of finely shredded fresh chilli


3 tbsp good quality hoisin sauce

1/2cup cold-pressed sesame oil

1 tbsp brown rice vinegar

1/4 cup water

Start by poaching your chicken in the Chinese 5 spice, ginger and garlic for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the water and leave to cool while you chop the lettuce, scallions, carrot, chilli, peas and mangetout. Then whisk the dressing ingredients together and lightly dress the salad, leaving some left over.

Shred the chicken, place it on top, sprinkle with sesame seeds and a drizzle of remaining dressing. Season with black pepper and salt if necessary, and enjoy.

Ben x

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