Chinese New Year Recipe: Poached Chicken Salad

Vancouver Chef Nathan Wong uses tea to inspire this Chinese New Year menu, starting with a poached chicken salad

Credit: Optimum West

The chicken in this appetizer salad is flavoured with lime-ginger-mint tea

Vancouver Chef Nathan Wong offers a three-course Chinese New Year menu starting with a poached chicken salad flavoured with herbal tea

Chef Wong has fused the goodness of tea and the nutrition of fresh ingredients to create three dishes featuring Canadian company Four O’Clock teas.

The chicken in this appetizer salad is flavoured with lime-ginger-mint herbal tea and the dressing is a wild berry herbal tea-infused vinaigrette.



  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • 2 sachets Four O’Clock Wild Berry Herbal Tea
  • 2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Chicken Salad

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • one thin slice ginger
  • 2 sachets Four O’Clock Lime Ginger Mint Herbal tea
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound
  • ½ small red onion, finely sliced
  • ¼ lb fresh bean sprouts
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • ½ English cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin julienne
  • 4 cups chopped Napa cabbage
  • handful coarsely chopped cilantro
  • handful coarsely chopped mint
  • garnish: coarsely chopped roasted almonds, cashews, hazelnuts or peanuts



  1. In a small saucepan, bring the apple juice and cider to a boil.
  2. Add the tea sachets and let steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove and pour into a bowl and allow to cool.  
  4. Whisk together the mustard, olive oil and buttermilk, then gradually whisk in the tea infused juice-cider mixture and chopped herbs.
  5. Season to taste.

Chicken Salad:

  1. In a saucepan, bring the chicken stock, soy sauce and ginger to a boil.
  2. Add the tea sachets and let steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove sachets, bring infused stock back to a boil.
  4. Add chicken breasts and bring back to boiling.
  5. Cover and turn off heat and let sit for 20 to 25 minutes, or until juices run clear when poked in the middle of the breast with a knife.
  6. Remove breasts and allow to cool.
  7. Reserve infused stock for another use such as soup.
  8. Shred by hand or slice chicken into julienne.
  9. Place red onion, bean sprouts, celery, cucumber, cabbage, cilantro and mint into a large mixing bowl.
  10. Pour half of the dressing onto the salad and toss, seasoning to taste.
  11. Place on serving dishes, garnish with chicken and chopped nuts.

Chinese New Year Menu:

Entree: Green Tea Spice-rubbed Salmon

Dessert: Lychee Ginger Tea Poached Asian Winter Pears with Chocolate Spice-infused cream

Nathan Fong has been an award-winning food stylist for print and film advertising for the past 24 years and is an internationally published food and travel journalist. He currently is celebrating his 21st year on Global BCTV News with his Saturday Chefs and Fong on Food segments. He has been a regular contributor to CBC Radio One as well as a food columnist for The Vancouver Sun and contributor to Taste Magazine and EAT Magazine. In addition he has worked for Enroute, Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Cooking Light, Men’s Health UK, and NUVO.
His other television segments have included working with NBC’s The Today Show during the 2010 Winter Olympics, BBC and Sky Television, The Discovery Channel, both from England as well as the Food Network, USA and Canada, and New Zealand and Japan TV. He received the silver medal for the 2009 Food Network Challenge in the Superstar Foodstylist Competition.
In 2002 he was selected as one of the “Top 10 Food Trend-setters of the Future in Canada” by the Globe and Mail and was the recipient of the inaugural IACP/Julia Child Award of Excellence for food styling in 1998. In 2006 he was nominated for the national Gemini Awards (Humanitarian) for his dedicated work with the Dr. Peter Centre, the Vancouver hospice for people living with HIV and AIDS.