Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand is the first weekend of spring. The days are getting longer, the sun warmer and we are finally out of the winter food doldrums with spring’s glorious bounty. There are so many great things to pick from for a special meal for dear old dad.
Father’s Day just happens to coincide with the beginning of mango season. Any time between the middle of August to the middle of September mangoes become a staple until mid April to May. No matter what I’ve always been able to get the mangoes needed for this salad on Father’s Day. This dish quickly became a tradition for Father’s Day lunch for a number of reasons:
- It’s such a special treat to have the first of a seasonal dish after a long drought.
- Easy to make with very little cleaning up.
- Picky eaters can make it as they like it. I used to just make the slaw of cabbage and carrots and then let everyone put on the added veggies that they wanted. Similar to making a taco. Then I would add the chicken for portion control, give them half a mango and let them cut and scoop it out.
- It’s easy to pack and take on an outing. Our kids did sailing as their summer sport and Father’s Day marks the beginning of the sailing season. Which doesn’t end until Easter so it’s one of the longest sporting seasons. For nearly a decade we had this lunch on the deck of the Northbridge Sailing Club overlooking Sailors Bay while envious fathers pretended to enjoy their sausage sizzle while ogling our salads. You couldn’t have asked for a more idyllic spot or view.
Enjoy my friends.
Mango Chicken Salad
A light Asian inspired slaw topped with teriyaki grilled chicken and mango.
Required skills: slicing vegetables without losing a finger; using a measuring cup instead of eyeballing it; barbaquing without charring beyond recognition (OK, this may change the difficulty to hard).
Essentially you make up an Asian inspired slaw and top it with some teriyaki grilled chicken and mango. We prefer chicken thighs for this dish but it does work well with teriyaki grilled salmon and pork too.
You'll Need for each Person
- For the dressing (Recipe can be found on the back of the Chang’s Crispy Noodle packet)
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup castor sugar
- 1 tbsp preservative and added MSG free soy sauce such as Ayam’s (not sponsored)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1-1½ boneless chicken thighs
- Sesame oil
- Teriyaki sauce, free from preservatives and added MSG such as Ayam’s (not sponsored)
- 1 handful of shredded cabbage
- 1 small carrot shredded
- 1 handful of snow peas cut into slivers
- ½ a small cucumber cut in a large dice
- ¼ red capiscum cut in a large dice
- Handful of Chang’s Crispy Noodles (not sponsored). These are similar to a crunchy chow mien noodle. Ensure they are free from preservatives, malted flour and msg in all its forms.
- 1 mango cheek, scored on a dice
- ½ a small lime
- Fire up the BBQ and have the heat on medium.
- Coat the chicken thighs in sesame oil.
- Make the dressing by combining ingredients in a microwave proof jug. Microwave on 75-80% power until sugar is dissolved (30 seconds to 1 minute depending on your microwave). Set on bench to cool. Alternatively you could heat the ingredients up in a small saucepan on the stove until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool transfer to a glass bottle with a very secure lid. Always shake well before using.
- Prepare the veggies for the slaw. Toss with a small amount of the well shaken dressing and set aside to marinate.
- Grill for 5-7 minutes each side. Once you flip baste the cooked side in the teriyaki sauce. Once the second side is cooked flip and baste with teriyaki sauce. Caramelize sauce, 2-3 minutes each side.
- Remove from grill into a bowl, cover in a tea towel and rest for 5 minutes, basically the time it takes to plate the dish.
- Taste your slaw and add more dressing as required. Toss through the crispy noodles.
- Plate into a bowl. Roughly dice the chicken to the same size as the cucumber and capsicums and place on top of the slaw. Drizzle one tbsp of the chicken juices in your resting bowl over the chicken.
- Score a mango cheek on a dice as you would an avocado and using a large spoon scoop out on top of the chicken. Top with a good squeeze of lime.
So my friends, what is your special meal for Father’s Day and a link to the recipe please.