One of my nieces, Emily, had a wedding shower last week. I needed to make a salad for the shower, but I didn’t want to make any of the salads for which I already had recipes. Go figure. I wanted something with an Asian flare and so I scoured the internet for the perfect salad. Found it, too, over at Our Best Bites.
The dressing for the salad is genius. Yep, I said genius and I sincerely mean it. The salad, itself, is flexible and can accommodate a variety of mix and match vegetables. Just think Asian and crispy and you’ll get it right.
In my most humble opinion the chicken can be optional, depending on whether you want this to be a main dish salad or a side salad. For the shower I chose to leave out the chicken because we were also having chicken croissants. For dinner or for a luncheon, the addition of chicken is great.
I made this salad again yesterday for dinner with a couple of minor changes. Instead of using linguine, I used a package of Japanese noodles. I must confess that I really liked them better than the linguine. They can be found at many grocery stores next to the fresh, packaged Chinese soba-style noodles, usually somewhere in the fresh vegetable refrigerated section. (Really bad sentence, sorry.) One piece of advice about using the Japanese noodles. They are really looooooooong, so cut them into maybe fourths before you cook them. Just leave them all neatly folded as they come from the package and cut them once lengthwise then once crosswise. Cook them according to package directions.
In addition to the noodle change, I used dry roasted peanuts instead of honey roasted peanuts. I also increased the amount of napa cabbage and romaine lettuce, using four cups of each. As regards the purple onion, I prefer green onions. I like the milder green onion flavor.
One last change…I served the dressing on the side instead of mixing it into the whole bowl of salad. The dressing does have a tendency to separate as it sits, but give it a quick stir or shake and you are good to go.Print
Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
Recipe very slightly adapted from Our Best Bites
For the Salad:
- 1 (9 ounce) package Japanese noodles cooked according to package directions (Our Best Bites used 8 oz Linguine Fini, or regular linguine)
- 4 cups shredded napa cabbage or romaine lettuce (I used 4 cups of each)
- 2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, julienned (I used prepackaged shredded carrots–the shred was thick enough to be a julienne cut)
- 1/2 medium cucumber, halved and sliced
- 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced (I like to use green onions)
- 3 cups diced grilled chicken (I used chicken tenderloin strips. I brushed them olive oil and sprinkled them with seasoning salt prior to cooking them for a few minutes on each side in a grill pan.)
- honey roasted peanuts (about 1/2 cup) (I prefer dry roasted peanuts)
For the Thai Peanut Salad Dressing:
- 1/2 cups peanut butter
- 1 lime, juiced and zested
- 2 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro (stems and all)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2-3 teaspoons sriracha chili sauce (Start with the smaller amount, taste the dressing, then add more if you want it hotter.)
- 2-4 tablespoons water (The water is used to thin the dressing, if needed. It all depends on how thick or thin you like your dressing.)
For the Salad:
- Prepare your choice of noodles according to package directions.
- Drain, then rinse well with cool water to stop the cooking process and to cool down the noodles for the salad. Drain well. To help keep the noodles from clumping, drizzle a little salad oil over them and mix to coat the noodles. Cold noodle clumps are seriously unappetizing.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the prepped vegetables and the chicken.
- Add the noodles and toss everything together.
- Add the Thai Peanut Salad Dressing (recipe follows) just prior to serving or serve it on the side.
- Serve the peanuts as a garnish.
For the Salad Dressing:
- Put all of the dressing ingredients into the blender and process until smooth. Check for flavor and thickness, adjust ingredients as desired.