Cold sesame noodles with chicken and vegetables makes a delicious warm weather entree, and is perfect in a lunch box or for a picnic.
I love a dish that not only serves as a meal, but makes great lunch box leftovers. My 14 year gets tired of sandwiches and salads, and loves Asian food. Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables, from Cook’s Illustrated, is the perfect dish that falls into the “cook once, eat twice category”.
Now that my older daughter is in college, I still cook the same amounts as before, but we’re able to eat twice, and usually have enough for one or two lunches. The only “exotic” ingredients are sesame oil and Asian style noodles, which most large grocery stores carry. I use rice noodles to make this gluten free. If you can’t find Asian noodles, regular pasta noodles are an acceptable substitute. Because it’s served cold, it makes a nice change-of-pace lunch or a picnic dish too.
Here’s the recipe for the cold sesame noodles salad. Enjoy!
Chilled Sesame Noodles Chicken Salad
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
- 3 medium garlic cloves minced, about 3 teaspoons
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 5 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce like sriracha sauce (or more if you like)
- 2 teaspoons lightly packed light brown sugar
- hot water
- 1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken breast shredded
- 1 pound Asian-style rice noodles or 12 ounces dried spaghetti fresh or dried
- 2 Tablespoons Asian sesame oil
- 4 green onions sliced thin on the the diagonal
- 2 medium carrots grated
- 2 medium cucumbers peeled, seeded and diced
- Toast sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until golden and fragrant
- Reserve 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
- In a blender or food processor, puree remaining 3 Tablespoons sesame seeds, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce vinegar, hot sauce and brown sugar until smooth. Add hot water 1 Tablespoon at a time until sauce has the consistency of heavy cream.
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil, salt water and cook noodles, 4 minutes for fresh and 10 for dried.
- Drain and rinse noodles with tap water until cool to touch.
- In a large bowl toss noodles with 2 Tablespoons sesame oil until evenly coated.
- Add shredded chicken, vegetables and sauce and toss to combine.
- Garnish with remaining sesame seeds