Sesame Noodles: an old favorite

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This is a recipe I posted almost a year ago, but it’s one that deserves a second look. First of all, it is a delicious version of the very popular “sesame noodles” found in many U.S. restaurants and salad bars inside “fancy” food stores, on many food blogs, and from several different cultures. This version is light and spicy—a full meal with vegetables and chicken. Second, I have been trying to find foods that will appeal to my reduced appetite and energy, and this recipe is both tasty and easy to make.

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sesame-chuka-soba_6495
During the past year, I’ve discovered that the sesame sauce in this recipe can be prepared ahead of time: a meal today, and a couple of lunches in a few days. Or you can make extra sauce and freeze it for a week to have an almost instant meal ready to eat when you get off work. You won’t get tired of eating this dish because you can vary the toppings. Add which ever blanched, cooked, or raw vegetables you like. You can use chicken, tofu, ham, meatballs, hard boiled eggs…and you can even use purchased supermarket “rotisserie” chicken or turkey breast. This recipe includes a very nice way to poach chicken that ensures juicy tender meat every time, even if you use breasts.

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sesame-chuka-soba_6501Chilled Chukasoba with Spicy Sesame Sauce
Hiyashi Chukasoba Mushidori to Gomadare
serves 4
page 348
Sauce:
• 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
• 2 teaspoons toban jiang
(chile-bean sauce)
• 1/3 cup sesame paste,
preferably Japanese
(original recipe: 1/4 cup)
• 1/4 cup hot brewed
plain black tea
• 2 Tablespoons shoyu
(soy sauce)
• 1 Tablespoon sugar
• 1 Tablespoon komezu
(rice vinegar)
• 3 Tablespoons chopped scallion,
white part only
In a skillet, heat the sesame oil then add the toban jiang. Cook until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a mini-food processor. (or you can mix by hand with a bowl and whisk)Add the sesame paste to the food-processor, and blend until smooth. Add the hot tea, 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring or blending until smooth. Add the soy sauce, sugar, rice wine vinegar and green onions and mix until smooth. Reserve.
Toppings – Chicken:
• 3 skinless, boneless
chicken breasts
~I prefer thighs
• 2 teaspoons salt
Bring a quart of water to a boil, and add the chicken breast, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, add the salt, and let the chicken steep in its cooking liquid for half an hour. Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid, plunge it into ice water, and let it stand for 10 minutes. Drain, and wipe the chicken with paper towels. Shred into 3″ lengths.
Toppings – Vegetables:
• 2 Japanese cucumbers
• salt
• 2 medium tomatoes
• pepper
Julienne the cucumbers. Salt lightly and let sit for a few minutes. Squeeze out water. Cut the tomatoes into strips—the skin and meat next to it can be cut into strips. The inner part, forget it; just make it chopstick sized. Grind some black pepper over the tomatoes.
Noodles:
• 13 ounces dried
chuka-soba noodles
(ramen noodles)
• a large pot of boiling water
• 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
Cook the noodles according to package directions. Test for doneness by removing one noodle and biting it. Drain in a colander, and rinse the noodles under cold running water. Drain well again. Toss with sesame oil. Note that the ramen noodles are not the same as “instant” noodles. Chukasoba means Chinese noodles, also called ramen.
To Serve:
Divide the noodles among 4 individual bowls. Add some of the sauce, and toss. Decorate each serving with the chicken, cucumber, and tomato. Top with the more sauce if you like, and serve.
sesame-chuka-soba_6491
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4 thoughts on “Sesame Noodles: an old favorite

  1. Three wonderful words here – I prefer thighs. I do too for things like this. They’re way more flavorful and moist than breasts and despite popular belief, they are almost as low in fat and calories. Dark meat’s quite popular among my European friends for those very reasons.

    • Well, let’s keep that a secret
      or we’ll be paying big $$$ £££ ¥¥¥ for them!

      Poaching thighs with bones also leaves you some nice, lightly flavored chicken stock.

  2. Too late, my friend. I reminded myself how long I’ve been meaning to mention that and link to some comparison charts, so I just did as part of a larger piece about the growing popularity of whole chickens and parts.

    The good news for us is, some will refuse to believe it.

    • Ok. It is really too good to keep secret, but sure, many won’t believe. (I hope!)

      But when I post about my next recipe, you will see the small amount of chicken thighs included really accent / make the flavor of the fish and especially the mushrooms amazing!! Stay tuned.

      I have to work tomorrow, but this is a really great and too simple to believe recipe. Wednesday, day off!!

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