Recipes > Sesame-Panko Chicken & Spinach Salad

Sesame Panko Chicken & Spinach Salad


Crispy and tender chicken is first marinated with ginger, garlic, soy sauce and fresh lemon. It is breaded with sesame seeds and panko bread crumbs and then lightly fried. The easy and tasty marinade also doubles as the dressing for the spinach salad.
  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Views: 44,295
  • Success Rating: 90% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Vinaigrette

Making the Vinaigrette
  • 1" -inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar


To start, finely mince the ginger and garlic and add to a bowl. Next, add the soy sauce, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, sugar and chili flakes and then whisk in the oil. Set aside, while you prepare the chicken.

This can be done a day or two ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Preparing the Chicken

Preparing the Chicken
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


To prepare the chicken, slice it through the middle lengthwise. To do this, hold your knife horizontally to the cutting board and slice through the middle of the breast. Basically, you want 8 long, thin fillets.

Next, spoon a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the chicken and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes or even overnight in the refrigerator.

Step 3: Seasoning the Crumbs

Seasoning the Crumbs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Combine the panko and sesame seeds and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4: Preparing the Salad

Preparing the Salad
  • 4 cups spinach leaves (preferably baby)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, unpeeled
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint
  • 2 green onions


For the spinach, cilantro and mint make sure it has been cleaned and spun dry.

Remove the leaves from the cilantro and mint and give them a rough chop.

Next, slice the cucumber down the middle, lengthwise, and then slice into thin slices. For the green onions, slice the bulb end down the middle and then thinly slice. Place everything in a large bowl and set aside while you cook the chicken.

Step 5: Shallow Frying the Chicken

Shallow Frying the Chicken
  • 3 to 5 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 to 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • canola or other frying oil


To start, gather 3 shallow bowls/containers. Place the flour, beaten eggs and seasoned crumbs into each bowl. Set up a cooling rack over a baking tray. Set aside.

Next, gently pat the chicken dry and dredge with flour. Coat with the beaten eggs and let the excess drip off before coating with the seasoned crumbs. As you bread each piece of chicken, place it onto the cooling rack to allow it to dry/set for about 10 minutes or so.

While the chicken is drying, place about 1/4" to 1/2" -inch of oil in a large heavy-bottomed fry pan and heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the breaded chicken pieces. Shallow fry the chicken on each side until golden brown and cooked through. You may need to cook the chicken in batches.

Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pan and place onto a clean cooling rack (with a tray underneath) to allow the excess oil to drip off. Once of all of the chicken is cooked, set it aside while you assemble the salad.

Step 6: Dressing the Salad

Dressing the Salad
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)


Add a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette (and the sesame seeds, if using) to the salad and gently toss to coat. Taste for seasoning, adding more vinaigrette and/or seasoning as needed.

Step 7: Assembling the Plate

Assembling the Plate


Place a handful of the salad onto a large plate. Top with a piece of chicken. Then add another bit of salad, followed by another piece of chicken.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Chef's Notes

Panko bread crumbs are Japanese bread crumbs. They add to wonderful crunch and crispiness to many fried foods.


  • Carmen A
    Carmen A
    How much sugar do you need for the vinaigrette? and is that a third CUP of oil?
  • Carmen A
    Carmen A
    How much sugar do you use? Is that a third CUP of oil?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Ooops sorry - it's fixed now...enjoy!
  • Chris C
    Chris C
    does anyone have a recipe for homemade panko...Chris C
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Here is a link to Upper Crust Enterprises, they make and sell panko - here you can read the process they use to make their panko. After reading about how panko is truly made, I am not sure that you will really be able to make authentic panko at home. That being said...I did find a recipe for homemade panko from the blog called "From our (Brazilian) House to Yours". It looks pretty good and has some good photos. I have not tried it myself...if you decide to try it, I would love to know how it turned out. Hope this helps!
  • Basu S
    Basu S
    what a recipe buddy !!! really nice.... thanks for your information ....
  • Jacqueline B
    Jacqueline B
    Mmm Mmm Good! : ) I use Panko often but have never combined it with anything else. Adding the sesame in really made a nice difference and I will (hopefully) remember to add them again whenever I am using Panko with an asian influence in my meals. Really enjoyed this recipe, Thanks!
  • Kara F
    Kara F
    Enjoyed the salad portion of the meal. Had trouble with the chicken. Followed the info taught in panfrying lesson, but coating burned before chicken cooked. Started over with a fresh pan, but same results. Any thoughts on why this happened? I hadn't measured out the oil, but had a teaspoon amount pooled on the edge when tilting the pan, as taught. Would this have been the cause?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    In terms of heating the pan, you are correct to follow the pan frying lesson to obtain the correct heat level; however, whenever there is breading on food, more oil is required to properly pan fry and achieve a golden, crispy crust. Without enough oil, the breading will burn before the chicken is cooked through. You will see in this recipe that 3 to 5 tbsp of oil are used to pan fry; however, you can even use quite a bit can even shallow-fry the chicken which means using enough oil so that it rises half way up the chicken (as show in Step 5 of this video). Yes, less oil is healthier, but you compensate on obtaining a nice, golden, crispy crust and run into these sorts of problems when trying to pan fry breaded foods. Hope this helps! Cheers!
  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    I really enjoyed this recipe. Overall, I thought it was quite simple to make, and the chicken breast (a cut of meat that I tend to avoid frying or grilling because of dryness) turned out very succulent. I also really liked the sesame seeds in the breading. It added an interesting dimension to the dish. If I were to do this over again, I would marinade this overnight. I only soaked the chicken for 3 hours, and the flavor of the marinade on the meat was very mild. The marinade tasted great on the salad, though. I might also consider adding some orange slices to the salad for additional color and flavor. Thanks so much
  • Jacqueline B
    Jacqueline B
    New years resolution to drop a few pounds so I baked the chicken instead of frying it. I just put a bit of oil on my baking sheet to prevent sticking. I baked at 350 with convection for 15 minutes and turned them half way through. Amazingly crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and tasty. I will bake again in the future.
  • Cindy G
    Cindy G
    This was an amazing recipe. The wonderful flavorful crispy chicken w/the fresh tasting salad (i think I will put cilantro in all my salads, it add such a nice fresh taste), and then the spicy but delicious dressing. The combinations are great together. The only thing I did different was I made my salad w/half spring mix greens and half baby spinach. Great recipe and good directions. I was able to prepare quite a bit of stuff ahead of time, then when I fried my chicken I just tossed the salad, plated it and added the chicken. Thanks for the recipe and good instructions!

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