I’m writing this at 2pm on Friday of Labor Day weekend. We’ve all mailed it in at this point, right? We’re done doing “actual’ work. So, in the spirit of Labor Day, I give you this fantastic dish. Ideal for a lazy summer weekend afternoon. Sesame-Ginger Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken. Vibrantly flavored, full of crisp vegetables, and easily adaptable. (Did I throw in enough buzz terms there?)
I made a vinaigrette packed with fresh ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce and a hint of heat from the chili paste. A subtle bit of spice. Just enough. Soba noodles, often times labeled as buckwheat noodles, can be found in the Asian section of your supermarket. They’ve got a distinct flavor and sweetness. I love ’em.
Easily modified by using any variety of vegetables you have on hand. Asparagus in your crisper drawer? Shave thin and toss it in (That was an unintentional rhyme). Bright and beautiful green beans at the farmers market? Quickly blanch along with the soba noodles during the last minute of cook time, then add ’em to the party. Looking for a meatless meal? Simply leave the chicken out. You’re the boss.
Whip this dish together before fall flavors take over the market. Unique, delicious, and (obviously) a cinch to put together. Now, let’s get after this long weekend!
- 3 tbsp canola oil, divided
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced or fresh ginger paste
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp chili paste
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- 8 ounces soba noodles
- 1 lb (2 large) boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- In a food processor, combine 2 tbsp canola oil, 2 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 4 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp minced ginger, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 tbsp honey, and 1/2 tsp chili paste. Pulse until combined. Pour sauce into a bowl, add toasted sesame seeds, and set aside.
- Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add chicken, season chicken with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown and just cooked through. Add 1/3 of the sauce to the chicken, toss to coat, remove from heat, and set aside.
- Toss together noodles, cucumber, carrots, red pepper, cilantro, green onion, chicken, and another 1/3 of the sauce. Add additional sauce if necessary.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.