Salads aren’t necessarily summer foods. They can be enjoyed after large, fattening lunches of fish and chips or whipped up when you don’t want to bother with a hot meal. I’ve been making this recipe for years and I really love the delicate flavour and the way it always satisfies. The unusual dressing contains both olive oil and sesame oil, and even though it’s such a simple recipe, the results are surprisingly tasty. To make this dish much less calorific and carb-free – simply remove the noodles and up the quantity of vegetables. Drizzled with a bit sweet-chilli sauce – this salad is incredible for lunch or dinner.
Chicken Noodle Salad Recipe
1 carrot, grated or julliene
1 cucumber, finely sliced
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 x pkt of baby spinach leaves, finely sliced
1 red capsicum, finely sliced
1 bunch coriander, finely sliced
1 x pkt dried rice stick noodles
BBQ Chicken breast, finely sliced
5 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs caster sugar
Firstly, mix up the dressing in a little bowl.
Then, throw all of the veges into a LARGE bowl.
Add the chicken.
Then throw your noodles into a pot of boiling water.
Cook until they are just ready but not too soft.
When cooked, drain them ASAP and run lots of cold water over them to prevent them from cooking any longer.
Season veges with plenty of salt and pepper and then dress. Using your hands to toss.
Add the noodles and toss through the vege mix.
Have a final taste and add a little more of what you think it might need…which hopefully shouldn’t be much, since I tinkered with the dressing.
Remember, you serve it with some sweet chilli sauce, which really finishes it off.
Notes on the Recipe
I think this salad would also benefit from a little sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, roasted crushed peanuts or some fried shallots in a jar you get at the Asian grocer. If you were serving this for guests a little sprinkle of any one of these items would really make it sparkle and taste great!
In regards to ingredients, I think it’s flexible. If you don’t have rice wine vinegar, use regular white or white wine vinegar.
If you don’t have olive oil, sure use another vegetable oil, but you might lose a little flavour.
I highly recommend using BBQ chicken for the flavour it lends to the dish. I think a home cooked chicken breast, unless deeply marinated would leave it tasting a little bland. It is a delicately flavoured salad any way.
It can live without any one of the vegetables, if you only have a bit of this or that, then go ahead.
Instead of spring onion, you could use spanish onion or shallots. But I do think brown or white onion might be a little strong.
Don’t be shy with the salt and pepper, because, as I mentioned, it is rather a delicately flavoured salad and needs all the flavour of the seasoning and dressing.
These noodles can be a little tricky to work with. I have made the mistakes of both over cooking and under cooking them.
Under cooked, they fall apart and become gluggy.
Over cooked, they are just too hard and chewy to eat.
So, my advice is to cook the noodles until they taste like they are cooked. Take a strip out of the pot and taste it. You’ll know if it’s cooked.
Give it about 6 minutes and then start tasting. The minuted they’re done, get them out and cooled off. This is really important, it prevents them from over cooking, which can happen in a few seconds of sitting in hot water.
Also, cut the noodle strips, either before or after cooking. Tossing these longs strands through your salad is really difficult, so make sure you shorten the lengths.