Asian Chicken Salad

Man, it’s HOT out there! Five days in a row with 100+°F heat indexes has really taken its toll. Everyone is miserable and crabby, and nobody wants anything to do with sweating over a hot stove.

Fortunately, I was browsing  Serious Eats and came upon this main-dish-salad from Once Upon a Chef. It’s light, tasty, quick, and the only cooking involved is boiling noodles.  Talk about a life saver.

2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken (I used the leftovers from a store-bought rotisserie bird)
12 ounces spaghetti, broken in half (I used Mrs. Leepers gluten-free corn pasta)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sugar

Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse well under cold water.

Make the dressing by putting the garlic in a food processor and pulsing until the garlic is minced. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, peanut oil, sesame oil, peanut butter, ginger, and sugar, and give them a whirl until they are well-combined.

In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, noodles, dressing, bell peppers, peanuts, and cilantro. Cover and stick in the fridge for 15 minutes. Give it a shake to coat everything, and refrigerate for another 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with a topping of sesame seeds and a drizzle of siracha.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
I’ve made versions of this recipe as a side dish before, but it really shines as a dinner salad. The chicken makes it a light, but complete meal. The sauce is rich, creamy and tangy, and there’s plenty of crunch coming from the nuts and veggies.

Next time I might try using no-cook rice noodles and precooked frozen shrimp to make this a completely “no stove required” meal.

Stay cool.

4 thoughts on “Asian Chicken Salad”

  1. Uh huh! This looks so good that i am having to put my laptop down to go find my jump drive in order to save this to my Big Oven database. I can’t wait to try this. Nice one Dave.

  2. This looks delicious! I love anything with peanut sauce – and this sounds like a great combination of flavors. Thanks!

  3. This sounds like something we would love so thanks for the recipe.

    In return, here’s my tip for you, which I got from Poor Girl Gourmet. You don’t need to cook your pasta by boiling it on the stove and adding all that heat and humidity to the house. Instead, bring your water to the boil, put the pasta in the boiling water, cover the pot, turn off the heat and leave it alone for 20 minutes. Your pasta will be cooked just fine at the end and you won’t have all that extra heat/humidity in the house. I will say that when I cook angel hair pasta, I do stir it at the beginning otherwise it wants to clump.

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