Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad

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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).

Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad
Nutritionist Tested & Approved

Time: 45 minutes

  • 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)

  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.

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.

If preparing ahead of time: 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.

Nutritional Facts

Added Sugars
Dietary Fiber
Monounsaturated Fat
Saturated Fat
Vitamin A (69% daily value)
Vitamin C (48% dv)
Folate (19% dv)
Carbohydrate Servings
1 starch
1 vegetable
1 1/2 lean meat
2 fat

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3 replies

GabbyPA 2011-11-04 09:20:49 -0500 Report

I think I found dinner for tonight. This sounds different and yummy. I will let you know how the family likes it.