Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Not-so-Asian chicken salad

This is just another instance of me being crazy. Coming home hungry, and deciding to "make dinner". Not from a box or the freezer, but as in open and marinate chicken, soak rice noodles, do pilates, and then cook. And scarf down meal.
As far as cooking elaborate meals when hungry, this meal was less crazy than other ones I've done. Only an hour and a half from start to in my belly (I know a lot of people think that's a long time, but guys, come on, if you want good food that is not crap, you need to commit some time and/or effort into it!)

I will admit, however, that as much as I love using soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil, there is always something missing. I need to take a class on "Asian" cooking, I think. That might be my only hope. That said, this salad is a pretty great Americany Asian-flavor inspired salad. You just have to be willing to stick your finger into marinades and dressings to taste them as you go, or you never know what you'll end up with. I didn't have any on hand, but I think crushed peanuts would make this better. Or lime wedges. Or fish sauce.

Here's what you need for 2-3 servings:
12 oz rice noodles
1 1/2 T grated ginger
1 1/2 T minced garlic
juice of one lemon or lime
4 T toasted sesame oil
1/4 c soy or tamari, low sodium or whatever you like
3 T rice wine vinegar (I use brown)
salt and pepper to taste, if needed
3 chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless
1 T honey
about half a head of romaine
1-2 grated carrots
2 sticks celery, diced, and any other veggies you think may be good raw in this

Step 1: Soak rice noodles in warm water 30 min. When done, drain.
Step 2: Marinate chicken 30 min-1 hr in:
  • 2 T soy
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1/2 T garlic
  • 1 T ginger
  • lemon juice
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
Step 3: Make salad dressing/noodle cooking sauce - mix and set aside until ready to use:
  • remaining ginger, garlic, soy, sesame oil, vinegar
  • honey
Step 4: Cook chicken - set oven for 375, on broil, with oven rack close to heat (about 3 inches away if possible). I set my chicken in a cast iron pan with a little olive oil. Broil each side for about 5 min, or until it's done in the middle.
Step 4a: Cook Noodles - throw in a pan with a splash of sesame oil on medium heat. After a few moments of sizzling, add dressing. 

Step 5: Assemble! Cut chicken into strips. Toss with veggies, noodles and their sauce. Eat it.

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