Tag Archives: lunch leftovers

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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Thai Chicken Curry

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Patrick and I are like Goldilocks when it comes to heat levels – most places don’t add enough spice no matter how much you ask for it and many have so much heat that you can barely taste the flavors of the food.  I realized the other day while eating Thai takeout the only way to get it juuuuuust right is to make it yourself!  You are in control here so you can make it for any spice tolerance level.  I add sliced hot peppers in the end but if that’s not your thing leave them out entirely.  The addition of sweet basil is a traditional one and a great way to smooth out the spice – unfortunately the last time I made this I didn’t have any basil so if you are looking for it in the pics, you got me!  However, if you do have it on hand I highly recommend adding it.

There are a lot of Thai curry pastes out there, Thai Kitchen is the most ubiquitous one found at most grocery stores.  If anyone has one they like please chime in as I am still searching for the perfect one.  Using the paste takes all the guesswork out of this recipe since all the great Thai flavors are right in there, lemongrass, ginger, garlic etc.  That means buying a tiny little jar that lasts forever in your fridge,  versus a whole bunch of fresh ingredients.  I also generally use the light version of coconut milk but if you like the full fat version that works too.  Served with white rice or over a bed of rice noodles this is the perfect way to spice up a weekday without having to resort to dialing for dinner.

Thai Chicken Curry 

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 6 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 fresno or jalapenos, sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil over medium high heat.  Add the chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally so all sides are browned.

Remove the chicken from the pan and add additional oil if needed.  Cook the onions and green beans, still over medium high heat, for 3 to 4 minutes until softening and starting to brown.  Add in the brown sugar and the curry paste and cook it for another minute, stirring constantly so the paste doesn’t burn.

Wisk in the coconut milk, deglazing the pan as you do.  Add the chicken back and allow the whole thing to simmer for 5 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked through and the flavors have melded.  Season with salt and pepper and stir in the sliced peppers and basil.

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