I first ate this in Australia in the early nineties and the taste has stayed with me for life. The version I had did not have the noodles in it, but was a simple shredded salad. If you are like me, veg and chicken will not fill you up until dinner time so noodles have been added.
I wanted to avoid refined flours and sugar in this book so I found some wholewheat noodles in the supermarket and although it is crossing cuisines a little, I also cooked this with gluten-free Japanese soba noodles made from buckwheat, which was really good too. If, after searching the aisles, you cannot find either, then regular egg or rice noodles will also work.”
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Recipe Type: Main
- Difficulty: Easy
- Preparation Time: 15 mins
- Cooking Time: 25 mins
- Serves: 4
- 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 1 cm piece of fresh ginger, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 red chilli, roughly chopped (or a good pinch of chilli flakes)
For the dressing
- 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped (or 1 tsp chilli flakes)
- 4 tbsp no-added-sugar crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
For the salad
- 200 g medium wholewheat noodles or soba noodles
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin batons
- 4 spring onions, cut into long, thin strips
- 0.33 cucumber, cut into long, thin strips
- 1 handful fresh coriander or basil leaves (optional)
- Put the chicken breasts in a medium pan and cover with cold water. Add the garlic, ginger, bay leaf and chilli, cover with a lid and bring the water to the boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for 10–12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through and piping hot.
- Meanwhile, place the dressing ingredients in a large bowl, add salt and pepper and set aside.
- Once the chicken is cooked remove it from the liquid and set it aside to cool down a little. Fish out and discard the garlic, ginger, bay leaf and chilli with a slotted spoon. Add 5 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to the dressing in the bowl and whisk everything together until combined.
- Top the water up in the pan so there is enough to cook the noodles in. Return to a high heat and bring to the boil. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions.
- Once cool enough to handle, slice the chicken into 1cm pieces or shred it using a fork. Add to the dressing along with the carrot, spring onion and cucumber.
- Once cooked, drain the noodles well and rinse them under cold running water to help cool them down a little. Add them to the salad also and toss everything together until evenly coated in the dressing.
- Divide amongst serving bowls, top with the ripped up coriander or basil leaves, if liked, and serve.
Extracted from Eating Well Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale, available now (HarperCollins).