Tag Archives: chinese

Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad

This week is a big one for my family because we get to celebrate my Aunt Janice’s birthday and nuptials!  In honor of Auntie Jan I am posting her famous Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad.  I have so many memories of having this dish at her house.  I used to spend at least a week at her house in Upstate New York every summer growing up and I would LIVE on this salad.  Its a great summer dish because its served cold/room temp and the leftover are just as good as when its fresh.  Perfect for a summer BBQ, picnic or easy weeknight dinners.  I finally managed to finagle the recipe out of her and I have been making it like a fiend all summer.  I tweaked the original (of course) just a little to make things a bit easier on myself and also because I like roasting rather than poaching chicken.  This is also a great salad to use up extra ingredients you have in your fridge so feel free to throw in snap peas or green beans etc if you have them on hand.  I am so happy for Auntie Jan and I am SO happy to have this recipe.

Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad 

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons black (or rice wine) vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 minced or grated garlic clove
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 2 pounds bone in skin on chicken breasts
  • 8 ounces egg noodles
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch lengths
  • 1 bell pepper (I used red) cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 a head of napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

In a medium sized bowl wish together the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and peanut oil.  The sauce can be made several days in advance, just store in the fridge.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees and roast the chicken breasts on a baking sheet for 45 minutes, until cooked through.  Let cool and shred.  Chicken can also be made one or two days in advance.  Cook the pasta according to directions and drain.  In a large bowl toss the pasta with the sesame oil and set aside.  In a small dry skillet toast the sesame seeds over medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes (be careful not to burn).

When ready to serve toss the chicken with the pasta and spread on a large platter.  Top with the napa cabbage, pepper slices, scallions and sesame seeds.  Drizzle on the sauce and toss – my aunt likes to set out the whole salad composed on a buffet and then toss with the sauce right before serving.  It makes for a great presentation.

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Chinese New Year Party

Happy year of the monkey!  Chinese New Year officially started yesterday but the good news is the celebration goes on for several days, through the weekend, so you can join in on the fun.  I remember going to New Year’s parties in Chinatown in Boston when I was a kid – I loved all of the colorful decorations, the exotic dragons and of course the food!  Even if you aren’t Chinese no one can argue with getting a second crack at celebrating New Years and this holiday comes with so many fun traditions.  Before throwing my party I did quite a bit of research but don’t get hung up on authenticity (and apologies in advance from any liberties I may have taken!).  The main purpose of Chinese New Year is to honor one’s ancestors so it’s all about being surrounded by friends and family and celebrating life.

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Decorating for this party is half the fun.  I got a bunch of paper lanterns and fans and hung them all over – even better, if you are careful when you take them down you can reuse them plenty of times and they store flat.  I knew I definitely wanted to get lots and lots of fortune cookies so they could double as decorations and dessert.

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Lucky Money Bags are a traditional Chinese New Year element where usually kids get these red envelopes with either real money or candy coins.  As thrilled as I am sure my friends would have been to get cash, I opted for the chocolate coins instead.  They were the perfect take home favor (though I think people started cracking into them early!).

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I tried to keep the menu fun and sort of bite sized so everyone could mix and mingle with food in hand or chopstick.  This is a great excuse to head to your local Asian market (my favorite in the DC area is H Mart) and grab things you usually don’t cook with.  You can also grab take out containers, steaming baskets and chopsticks while you are there.  I cheated a bit and bought some frozen shrimp shu mai which helped round out the spread.

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Since I bought the shrimp dumplings that freed me up to make my own pork ones.  These delicious Sichuan pork wontons also called Chao Shou were actually really easy to make since you can buy the wonton wrappers in advance and just fill and boil them.  Dressed in black vinegar and chili oil they pack a nice kick.

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In addition to the dumplings and of course a nice selection of wine and beer (we tried to find Tsingtao but no luck) we had individual containers of cold sesame noodles.  I used a classic New York Times recipe (sans the cucumber, ick!) and doubled it up.  I thought it would be fun if everyone had their own little take out container so grabbed these mini ones from Webstaurant Store, an awesome online restaurant supply place.

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Last but not least I wanted to make sure to have a substantial meat dish and what is better than meat on a stick?  Chicken satay was a great choice because it was easy to eat and also really good room temperature.

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I hope everyone has a delicious and happy Chinese New Year!

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