Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad

Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad

12 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine July/August 2012

This sesame chicken and noodle salad couldn't be simpler to make. And the secret to this saucy sesame chicken and noodle salad is in its beautiful raw veggies—it's got great crunch. It's a simple, healthy, affordable dish to serve on a hot summer's night or to bring to a potluck: just toss the salad with the dressing when you're ready to serve. (Recipe adapted from Simply Ming One-Pot Meals by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm; Kyle Books, 2010.)

Ingredients 12 servings

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  • 8 ounces Chinese egg noodles or other thin noodles or pasta, fresh or dried
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry (see Notes)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons naturally brewed reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chile sauce, such as sambal oelek or Sriracha (see Notes)
  • 2 heads baby romaine or 1 head regular romaine lettuce
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see Tip), sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices and chilled
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 large English cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish (see Notes)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Fill a large bowl with water and add ice cubes. Cook noodles in boiling water until just tender, 2 to 4 minutes if fresh, about 6 minutes for dry (or according to package directions). Drain and transfer the noodles to the ice water. When the noodles are cold, drain well and transfer to a very large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk peanut butter, vinegar, sesame oil and Shaoxing (or sherry) in a bowl until smooth. Add scallions, cilantro, if using, soy sauce and hot sauce, and stir to blend.
  3. If using baby romaine, half lengthwise, notch out the core, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. If using regular romaine, remove the tougher outer leaves. Halve lengthwise, notch out the core, halve again, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. You should have about 8 cups.
  4. Add the lettuce, chicken, bell peppers and cucumber to the noodles. Add three-fourths of the dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining dressing if desired.
  5. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl. Serve garnished with sesame seeds.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the salad for up to 1 day or prepare the dressing (Step 2), cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days; thin with a little water as needed.
  • Notes: Shao Hsing, or Shaoxing, is a seasoned rice wine. It is available at most Asian specialty markets and in the Asian section of some larger supermarkets. If unavailable, dry sherry is the best substitute.
  • Sambal oelek, a spicy blend of chiles, brown sugar and salt, and Sriracha, a Thai chile sauce, can be found in the Asian section of many large supermarkets and at Asian markets.
  • Look for toasted sesame seeds at the supermarket near other Asian ingredients. Or toast regular sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Tip: To quickly poach boneless, skinless chicken breasts, place in a large skillet or saucepan. Add lightly salted water (or chicken broth) to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1 1/3 cups
  • Per serving: 243 calories; 12 g fat(2 g sat); 3 g fiber; 18 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 76 mcg folate; 34 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 3472 IU vitamin A; 29 mg vitamin C; 40 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 307 mg sodium; 371 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (69% daily value), Vitamin C (48% dv), Folate (19% dv).
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 lean meat, 2 fat

Reviews 12

June 28, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty and quick dinner for summer Overall a great recipe. I did follow the comments by reducing the vinegar, and everything turned out delicious.
May 24, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Good Not Great I like this but will not make it again without taking the time to figure out what it is missing. I liked the flavor of the dressing but the other ingredients are so mild in flavor that the dressing dominated instead of highlighting or enhancing the other flavors. I think there is something that could be added to give it that needed POP. Perhaps a pop of citrus is what it needs, some some mandarin segments but I think some fresh pink grapefruit segments is what I will try when I prepare this dish again. The richness and yummy fattiness of the peanut dressing needs the citrus or a similar acidic contrast. Just my thoughts. Pros: Fast, Easy, Fresh, Light but Filling Cons: Flavor is one note, quickly becomes monotonous
March 24, 2013
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By: joycey1000
I loved this recipe but I changed it a bit. I only used 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, added about 1 rounded tablespoon of brown sugar because it was to sour for me. Used the hot pasta water to dilute the sauce, and instead of 8 ounces of pasta I used 12 ounces.
September 27, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious I had store bought low fat sesame ginger dressing on hand so I blended that with the chili garlic sauce and peanut butter. It came out delicious and saved a few steps. I also added shelled edamame. Will definitely make again.
August 13, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Fantastic for parties and leftovers! I've made this recipe a few times now and have loved it each and every time. I've slowly made a few changes, or additions rather, and I love how versatile the sauce is. I've added diced Chinese eggplant, some finely shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, and sometimes squash. I use whole grain noodles or quinoa noodles and it's amazing each time! I highly recommend trying it out! Pros: Easy, filling, perfect for warm weather Cons: None
July 23, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Excellent for a crowd This is fantastic and everyone at three parties raved about it. I only make and use half of the dressing and added 2 tbsp brown sugar because I thought the dressing was too acidic. I will add chopped sugar snap peas next time too. Pros: Fresh and light: lots of vegetables Cons: Too much dressing
July 12, 2012
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By: Ann Reiland
Loved this recipe and will make it again.
July 09, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Fantastic Summer Meal! I really loved this recipe. I added some shredded carrots to it to increase the amount of veg. I halved the recipe and had enough for about 3-4 people still. The only changes I made were: adding shredded carrots to the salad, grilling the chicken, and I used whole wheat linguine noodles and they were perfect. I highly recommend the recipe. The leftovers are as equally delicious as well. Pros: Healthy, Nutrituous, Flavorful
June 09, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Loved This Recipe I tried this recipe with thin linguini since I didn't have Chinese noodles. I also doubled the sriracha because I like heat. I liked it because it was different and healthy, my boyfriend loved it and even ate his veggies (he's a meat guy all the way!) I made this a week ago and we ate it last Sunday for dinner. Today we had to make it again, he loved it that much! Hopefully there will be leftovers! Pros: delicious, easy to make, easy to make swaps and changes