Friday, January 15, 2010

Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad

Inspiration:
Modified from a recipe found on allrecipes.com

Last year, my New Year's Resolution was to improve my yeast breads. I did pretty well with that and am enjoying homemade pizza and bread rather often.

This year's New Year's Resolution: take lunch to work more often. This will not be difficult to do, as I rarely brought lunch last year. It is too tempting to go out for pho with friends or swing by one of the sandwich places near my office. Now, I have a refrigerator in my office, and I am going to try to bring some sort of pasta/rice/couscous salad every week with some greens for a good midday meal 3-4 days a week. The remainder of the days-- I'll likely be having pho :)


Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 (16 ounce) package bow tie or similar-shaped pasta
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast meat
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 can baby corn, sliced
  • 1/4 diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned carrot
  • 1 cup blanched and sliced snow peas

Instructions:
  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds, and cook stirring frequently until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain pasta, and rinse under cold water until cool. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, ginger, and pepper. Shake well.
  4. Pour sesame dressing over pasta, and toss to coat evenly. Gently mix in chicken, cilantro, green onions, and other vegetables.

Notes:
  • I made the chicken mixture and kept the pasta separate. The chicken tasted even better after the flavors melded overnight. Each morning, I prepared a to-go pyrex dish with the chicken mixture on the bottom, with pasta and baby spinach leaves sitting on top. This way the pasta didn't soak up all the dressing. I then mixed it right before lunch.
  • Change up the type and amount of vegetables to your liking. Water chestnuts may be an option if you care for them. I blanched the snow peas in the pot of boiling water, removed them, then boiled the pasta.
  • For the shredded chicken, I poached two bone-in chicken breasts using The Kitchn's method.
  • After I took the photo I realized I forgot the sesame seeds and had to re-mix--whoops. It looks even better with all the toasted sesame seeds!

Liz's Rating: 10/10
Tim's Rating: 9.5/10

6 comments:

Lindsay said...

I will definitely try this next week for lunch. Thanks for the recipe!
If you're looking for another lunch salad recipe, this one from David Lebovitz is great.
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2010/01/roasted_root_vegetable_wheat_ber.html

bakinandeggs said...

This looks like a great lunch and a nice twist on pasta salad.

Have enjoyed reading your posts the last couple weeks - glad you're back to blogging more frequently. Your blog is one of my favorite sources of inspiration! :)

HaveShoesWillTravel said...

I am always looking for more ideas for lunches. Sometimes I feel I've made everything 8 million times already and start going out to eat all the time.

SallyBR said...

Just found your blog today... very nice!

I had the same NY Resolution in 2009, but with limited success - trying again this year!

how did you cook the chicken, poached, stir-fried? The salad seems perfect for lunch at work

thank you!

Debbie said...

Looks delicious. I could eat this any time!

Insomniac said...

Oh wow - this looks like it would be perfect for my office potluck!