Energizing seasonal salads take center stage

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Chicken salad with summer vegetables

The Yomiuri ShimbunSalads can be promoted from a mere side dish to a main dish for summer by topping them with meat or fish. Certified nutritionist Kaori Nakatsugawa introduces two such dishes best served on muggy days when we tend to lose our appetite.

Such salad dishes have become popular among women, as they provide a host of nutritional foods, not just vegetables, all in one dish.

Nakatsugawa recommends boiling or shallow-frying the meat or fish, instead of deep-frying, to make preparing the dish easier. She also says it’s better to use seasonal vegetables, as they are delicious, nutritious and less expensive.

Chicken salad with summer vegetables

This recipe uses zucchini and okra — vegetables of summer.

Remove the chicken tendon and score the thicker part of the meat so it cooks evenly. Heat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place the chicken skin-side down first. Cook both sides until brown.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Pork and tofu salad with umeboshi pickled plum dressing

Cut the zucchini into 1-centimeter-thick slices, and the pumpkin and okra into any size you prefer. Place the vegetables in the pan with the chicken and season the ingredients with salt and pepper. Shallow-fry the contents of the pan until the vegetables are cooked.

The shallow-fried summer vegetables add different textures to the dish. Also, the vitamins the vegetables contain dissolve easily in oil. When you eat shallow-fried vegetables, the vitamins in the oil are absorbed smoothly into the body.

Tear red leaf lettuce into bite-sized pieces with your hands, cut the red onion into thin slices and place them on a plate.

Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and place them with the vegetables and tomato that is also cut into bite-sized pieces.

Make the dressing by mixing 2 tablespoons each of basil paste and wine vinegar with 1 tablespoon of oil and then drizzle it over the salad.

Pork tofu salad

Pork is rich in vitamin B1, which helps our bodies recover from summer lethargy.

Boil water in a pot and lightly dip thin slices of pork in the simmering water and place them on paper towels to remove excess water. Don’t soak the boiled pork in cold water as this will rob the pork of its nutrition.

Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces with your hands and cut the myoga ginger and cucumber lengthwise before slicing them. Cut off the end of kaiware-daikon radish sprouts. Place the vegetables and pork on a plate. Wrap tofu with paper towel to absorb excess water and break it into bite-sized pieces to put in the salad. Drizzle with umeboshi pickled plum dressing.

To make the dressing, crush umeboshi with a knife. Mix it with 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Ume’s sourness and the pleasant bitterness of myoga add a refreshing taste to the salad.

Current health trends are helping to make this salad dish popular.

“It’s important to eat a proper balance of protein and carbohydrates,” Nakatsugawa said. “I recommend eating the salad with a hearty soup and a bowl of rice for a nutritionally balanced meal.”


(Serves 2)

Chicken and summer vegetables

1 chicken thigh

2 pumpkin slices

½ zucchini

4 okra

½ tomato

¼red onion

2 large red lettuce leaves

2 tbsp basil paste

2 tbsp wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil (1 tbsp for dressing)

Pork tofu salad

100 grams pork slices (for shabu shabu)

1 pack firm momen tofu

¼head of lettuce

1 cucumber

2 myoga ginger

½ pack kaiware-daikon radish sprouts

2 honey-pickled umeboshi plum

2 or 3 tbsp vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil

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