In Nepali language, sadeko roughly means marinated.
Please don't ask me why I am calling marinated chicken a salad..for lack of a better word maybe. In Nepal, there was no concept of salad while growing up so I just associate "sadeko" or marinating with spices and tempering with oil as salad. Grapefruits and oranges (bhogate sadeko), potato salad, chicken/duck/goat meat, peanuts, or soybeans are some common things enjoyed sadeko..
Chicken sadeko was my mom's go to dish to make for me on day's she made vegetables I disliked and that included almost everything but cauliflower, potatoes, mustard greens & peas. I don't think I was a very picky eater except when it came to vegetables..Just so you know we like our vegetables fully cooked, almost mushy or deep fried..That is why I avoided most vegetables and happily settled in with chicken sadeko...and it still remains my go-to chicken dish when I crave for something refreshingly delicious - maybe its my childhood memories, or the fact that it comes together so effortlessly on any given day and time, I never get tired of it.
The salad is refreshingly light, freshly chopped onions, cilantro, and tomatoes not only add bright colors but brings freshness and crunch to the dish. I urge you to use freshly squeezed lemon juice to add the flavorful punch it needs along with a dash of cumin & chili powder. This is a very humble salad at its best.
Not to mention, it's versatility. It can be eaten alone or on a bed of your favorite greens, used in a sandwich or fill a pita pocket. The boyfriend likes to make a taco with some salsa. I like it alongside warm rice (try with this tomato masala rice). Do whatever your heart desires but do it...
Traditionally, most sadeko dishes are finished off by tempering with little mustard seeds and mustard oil. We are not doing so today but if you want a little authentic taste, feel free to try it.
Chicken Sadeko (Shredded Chicken Salad)
For 4-5 servings
2.5 cups boneless chicken, cooked and shredded (rotisserie chicken works too)
1 small onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
2-3 red or green chili, chopped
5-6 cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon oil (traditionally mustard oil is used but I used canola)
1.5 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon chili powder (skip this if you like mild flavor)
3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a bowl combine chicken, onion, tomato, chili
- In a small bowl, mix oil, cumin powder, chili powder and lemon juice.
- Pour it over chicken mixture then add cilantro leaves.
- Adjust seasonings and leave it in the refrigerator covered for about 30 minutes so it marinates better.
Make-ahead Tip:- It tends to get watery if left in the refrigerator overnight. I would suggest adding onion, cilantro, and tomatoes only couple hours before serving.
- Do you have a go-to food rooted from your childhood?
- Did you like vegetables while growing up? Any favorite veggies?