Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad
This sesame chicken and noodle salad couldn’t be simpler to make. It’s a refreshing dish to serve on a hot summer’s night or bring it to your warm-weather 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).
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer the salad to a serving bowl. Serve garnished with sesame seeds.
Tips & Notes
- 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.
Per serving: 242 calories; 11 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 34 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 18 g protein; 3 g fiber; 312 mg sodium; 386 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
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- Main Ingredient
- Ease of Preparation
- Total Time
- 45 minutes or less
- 8 or more