This is one of those great recipes for when you need to use up some veggies; you know, when they're starting to look a bit sad and past their prime, but not yet wilted or "bad". Bonus - this is a fairly healthy recipe, too; high in fiber, low in fat (the little fat in the dressing is, for the most part, "good" fat), and, best of all, FULL of flavor.
The addition of the cooked chicken makes this salad more hearty; suitable for a light meal, but not at all heavy. I like to use rotisserie chicken from the deli at the local grocery store; it saves time AND has more flavor than plain poached chicken breasts. Feel free to use any leftover cooked chicken you may have. Also, if you don't like certain vegetables, substitute to your liking; I replaced the broccoli in the original recipe with shredded cabbage! Note: I don't dislike broccoli, I just thought cabbage would be a better option. Plus, I had some that needed to be used up.
Luckily, since I do cook a lot of Asian foods, I pretty much ALWAYS have all of the dressing ingredients at hand. Since this recipe only takes a few minutes to prepare, I can have a healthy salad as often as I want!
Chicken Soba Salad w Ginger Peanut Dressing
adapted from Jennifer Segal, Serious Eats
1 bundle soba noodles
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 handful mung bean sprouts, blanched
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Fresh cilantro, chopped
6 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 1/2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tsp Sambal Oelek or Sriracha
1 tsp sugar
Prepare Salad: Cook the soba noodles according to package directions; drain and rinse well under cold water.
Prepare Dressing: Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, peanut oil, peanut butter, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, Sambal Oelek/Sriracha and sugar; process until smooth with a food processor, blender, or immersion (stick) blender.
Assemble Salad: Toss the chicken with the noodles, bell pepper, carrot, cabbage, bean sprouts and scallions. Add the dressing and 1/2 of the sesame seeds; toss well to combine.