Ian Martorana

Grilled Jerk Chicken Salad

Grilled Jerk Chicken Salad

A friend recently told me that she was having a "boring salad" for lunch. And it's true, a lot of salads can be really boring, but they certainly don't have to be. This grilled jerk chicken salad, packed with warm spices, crunchy veggies, and an acidic, tasty vinaigrette will up your salad game.



  • Soy sauce
  • Chili powder 
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground allspice
  • Ground paprika
  • Ground nutmeg

Salad dressing

  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Honey or Dijon mustard

Salad components

  • Chicken breast
  • Napa cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Baby corn
  • Shallots
  • Peanuts
  • Tomatoes
  • Green onion

Pickling liquid

  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Grenadine


Place green onions, chili powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, allspice, paprika, and nutmeg into a blender with a ton of soy sauce and blend into a thick liquid/paste. Cover and rub the sauce into the chicken and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Alternatively, you can simply add the spices and soy sauce into a bowl and whisk and leave out the green onions if you don't have a food processor or blender (or you just don't want to take the time. This method still works).

Salad base

Dice the Brussels sprouts and Napa cabbage first; this will be the base of the salad. Chop all your vegetables (including pickled shallots, the directions for which are below) to your preferred size. As you can see by the photo above, i like to chop everything into roughly dime sized pieces, but other people have different preferences. Garnish with peanuts.

A note here: You can basically use whatever veggies you want. Daikon radishes would be good in this salad too, for a little peppery bite, and bell peppers would add nice crunch and texture. Go for iceberg or romaine lettuce if dicing a bunch of sprouts is too much work.


Add two parts extra virgin olive oil, one part rice wine vinegar, a large teaspoon of honey or Dijon mustard, and two teaspoons teriyaki sauce and whisk together to combine. Add mayonnaise if the dressing is too thin for your tastes. I prefer my dressing very acidic, so if that isn't to your taste, dial back the rice wine vinegar and mustard until it tastes right. Season with salt. 

Pickled Shallots

Combine the ingredients for the pickling liquid in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Add sliced shallots for a few minutes, transfer to a bowl, cover, and allow to come to room temperature before refrigerating. Do this step at least 30 - 45 minutes before you plan to eat. 

To finish...

Add your dressing to your salad and stir to combine.

Meanwhile, remove your chicken from the marinade, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Grill your chicken breast until a meat thermometer reads 165* F. Cover and allow to cool slightly before slicing. Top your salad with your slices of grilled chicken.

And voila, no more boring salads for you. 

Bon appetit.