Poached Chicken Cucumber Sesame Salad with Hoisin Dressing

Thanks to your questions on poaching chicken I’ve put together a recipe for Poached Chicken Cucumber Sesame Salad and Hoisin Dressing.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer and Starters, Lunch, Main
Servings 4
Calories 518 kcal
Dairy Free, Diabetic


Poached chicken

  • 3 cups water
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ginger 4 cm sliced
  • ½ red chili sliced lengthways
  • 1 teaspoon Peppercorns Szechuan or black
  • 600 g chicken breast boneless skinless


  • ½ telegraph cucumber thinly sliced into rounds
  • 3-4 baby radishes thinly sliced
  • 3 spring onions thinly sliced
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes halved
  • 3 celery sticks thinly sliced
  • cup roasted peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1-2 handfuls watercress or baby spinach
  • ½ cup mint leaves chopped
  • ½ cup coriander chopped


  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • tablespoons soy sauce
  • tablespoons rice vinegar
  • tablespoons sesame oil
  • teaspoons ginger grated


  • Combine all poached chicken ingredients in a pot. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a gentle boil. As soon as it comes to the boil, turn off the heat and leave the chicken in the poaching liquid, still covered, for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breasts). Do not lift the lid during this time (or else the heat will escape!). The residual heat of the liquid will cook the chicken through perfectly and keep it nice and moist. Remove chicken from the poaching liquid and set aside to cool slightly before slicing. If it has not cooked all the way through, simply return it to the pot and simmer in the poaching liquid for a few more minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare all the salad ingredients and mix dressing ingredients together.
  • To serve, toss salad with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Thinly slice chicken breasts and serve over the salad. Drizzle extra dressing over the chicken.


You’ll find that this method for poaching chicken (often used by the Chinese) is an ingenious way of keeping it moist and succulent. Remember to keep an eye on the time as you might be surprised how quickly the chicken cooks. The hoisin sauce will last in the fridge making a great pantry staple for future meals.
Slices of delicately flavoured chicken with lots of crisp, crunchy vegetables, and a kick-ass delicious hoisin dressing makes one awesome salad!