Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Cucumber is delicious, easy and filling–and, if you’re still dealing with high temperatures, won’t cause you to heat up your kitchen! This makes a very easy and filling lunch or dinner and since rice noodles are (usually) gluten-free, this meal is easily adjustable to a variety of food tolerances, making it incredibly flexible! I added a simple pan seared chicken breast to make it a bit more substantial. Also awesome? If you live near a Trader Joe’s, you can actually pick up cooked rice noodles in the refrigerated section, next to the prepared sandwiches and salads. With that little bit of extra intel, this meal is an absolute breeze to throw together–and makes use of the last bits of summer produce!
Original recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
3/4 pound dried rice noodles or a package of prepared rice noodles
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus a splash to loosen noodles
2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste or tahini
1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 1 medium-large clove)
Chili-garlic paste, to taste
1/2 pound cucumber, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
A handful of chopped fresh herbs, such as mint and cilantro, for garnish
Pan roasted chicken breast, if you are using
Open packaged noodles, drain. Drizzle some toasted sesame oil onto them for extra deliciousness! Alternatively, if you aren’t using pre-cooked noodles, you need to cook your dried noodles according to the package instructions. Be careful to not overcook, as they turn very mushy. Once the noodles are finished cooking, drain well, rinse with cool water and splash toasted sesame oil on them to prevent sticking. Set aside.
Cook chicken breast in olive oil, if using. Cut into bite-sized pieces, set aside.
Next, whisk sesame paste and peanut butter together, then add soy sauce, rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, sugar, ginger, garlic and chile-garlic paste till smooth. Adjust to taste. Toss with cold noodles.
Place noodles in a bowl, top with chicken, cucumber, peanuts, herbs and a side of chile-garlic paste. Add dressing on top and serve!