Spicy Asian Chicken Salad

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This salad was adapted from one on The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Tasty Kitchen.  I made a few changes according to my family’s preferences and what I had on hand.

The sweet chili sauce is similar to a sweet and sour sauce but is fairly hot.  The way it is distributed through the salad, just a bit of the hot flavor comes through.

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SPICY ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD

  • Two boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • ½ cup Teriyaki sauce or marinade
  • 5 ounces, weight Lo Mein noodles or spaghetti
  • ¼ cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 6 cups salad greens
  • ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tblsp.sesame seeds, toasted*

For the dressing  (makes one cup of dressing)

  • 1/3 cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup canola oil

Place the chicken breasts in a glass dish or Ziploc bag and pour in the teriyaki sauce/marinade.

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Cover/seal and place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to a couple of hours, turning occasionally. Grill the chicken breast over a hot grill or cook in a grill pan on the stovetop until cooked through.

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Set aside to rest. When they are cool, cut the breasts crosswise into strips.

While the chicken is cooking, place the noodles/spaghetti in boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a bowl, mix the cool spaghetti noodles with chili sauce. Set in the refrigerator to chill while assembling the salad.

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In a large bowl, mix together the salad greens, red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper.

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For the dressing, in a small bowl mix the sweet chili sauce, lemon juice, ginger, garlic and salt. Whisk in the canola oil until combined.  If dressing is made ahead of time, refrigerate but allow to come to room temperature and whisk before serving.

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For each serving, place one heaping cup of salad greens mixture onto six serving plates.  Top each with 1/6th of the cold chili noodles and a 1/6th  of the chicken breast slices.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Pass dressing for each person to drizzle over the salad. 

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Notes:
*To toast sesame seeds, place seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Shake the pan frequently. Watch carefully, it only takes 4-5 minutes.

If you have any leftover dressing it will keep refrigerated for about a week.

A Salad Buffet

My youngest son and his family (including their dog) come to visit every summer around the end of July.  He graduated from college, married his fiancee, moved to St. Louis and began his engineering career all within a month’s time in 1982.  This is my favorite picture of them taken quite a few years ago.  The girls have both graduated from college by now….


…and the dog, Brandy, passed away and has been replaced by Maggie.


Each year, there’s the decision of what to cook, particularly for the big family meal when everyone gets together.  It’s always blistering hot, of course, and I don’t want to spend all of my time in the kitchen.  This year, I decided to serve corn-on-the-cob from my local farm market and a Salad Buffet.  All but one of the salads have been posted previously on my blog and are old favorites:

  • Vegetable Pasta Salad.  This is an adaptation of the Tuna and Veggie Salad posted previously.  I omitted the tuna so I could have one plain pasta salad.

  • Thai-Inspired Chicken and Noodle Salad.  This is a new salad this year and we all like it very much.  It’s good either room temperature or chilled.

THAI-INSPIRED CHICKEN AND NOODLE SALAD

  • 8 oz. ( 4 cups) LoMein noodles (or thin spaghetti)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup Teriyaki sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • few gratings of black pepper
  • 2 chicken breast halves, baked and shredded
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions.  Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.  Transfer pasta to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine canola oil, Teriyaki sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, peanut butter, ginger and pepper.   Mix well until smooth.  Pour dressing over pasta and toss to coat evenly.  Gently mix in chicken, cilantro and toasted sunflower seeds.

This makes a big bowl of salad – 6 to 8 servings.

For dessert we had a sundae bar and then went out on the patio to work off the calories.  My daughter-in-law brought water balloons and small fireworks and the visit ended with a flourish.

Already, I’m wondering – what can I cook next year?