Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cold Noodle and Sesame Chicken Salad

Cold pasta for dinner? It’s like cold pizza, only much more versatile. While I would normally question reverting back to a typical pre-adolescent’s choice meal for dinner, I assure you that this will suit your aged tastes. The bite of rice vinegar and soy sauce is tamed by the sweetness of a few spoonfuls of sugar; then the nuttiness of the sesame pervades your taste buds. This recipe, while so tangy and fresh, is also light and convenient. Convenient in the sense that it can be made ahead, left in the fridge for dinner, easily brought to lunch or work, or enjoyed as a late night snack. Hands down, this is perfect for the unpredictable schedule of a twenty-something-year-old in college.

Beware of strong fragrances when you reopen the container after a few days – if it even lasts that long. I received quite a strong sesame greeting when I opened the container after a few days. With this recipe, tangy is good; more than two day old tanginess – not so much. My bet is on the fresh green onions that got a little too pushy in the smell department. I would suggest keeping those separate, as a garnish. Make sure to include them though once you eat, as it adds a lovely color and flavor balance to the entire dish.

Overall, it’s a great sweet sesame meal – which is a flavor combo winner in my book. For those of you who like to turn up the heat however, I might suggest some Sriracha or another Asian hot sauce. It’s not always about the heat with hot sauce, but the flavor; so Texas Pete or Tabasco might not be the best choices.

Cold Noodle and Sesame Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

4 T sesame seeds

6 oz bowtie pasta

¼ cup vegetable oil

1/6 cup soy sauce

1/6 cup rice vinegar

½ t sesame oil

1 ½ T white sugar

¼ t ground ginger

Dash ground pepper

1 ½ cups cooked chicken, chopped

5 carrots, cooked and sliced

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

4 green onions, sliced

Instructions:

1. Heat small skillet over medium high heat. Add sesame seeds, stirring constantly until lightly toasted. Remove from heat.

2. Cook pasta and carrots, rinse with cold water. Put in large plastic container.

3. Meanwhile, make sauce: in a tightly sealable container, mix oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and seeds, sugar, ginger, and pepper. Shake well.

4. Add chicken to pasta and carrots. Pour sauce over all. Chill.

5. Garnish with fresh green onions and cilantro before serving.

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