I distinctly remember the first time I had Sesame Noodles in a Chinese restaurant. I was out to dinner with some girlfriends when we lived in Virginia, and as we were looking over the menu, my friend Nicole said, “Oooh, I need to order some Sesame Noodles.” I asked her what they were, because I’d never heard of them (despite having eaten in Chinese restaurants all my life) and she said, “The noodles are cold and they have this peanut butter-sesame sauce on them. They’re delicious.” Having never had a peanut sauce on anything (I know! Had I been living under a rock?), I thought that sounded a little weird, but Nicole said I could try a bite when they arrived.
I did, and my world was changed forever. I can’t get enough of that sauce!
Now, if I see Sesame Noodles, any variation of Sesame Noodles, or peanutty sauced anything on a menu, I usually jump. It’s one of my favorite flavors.
I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try because it seemed like the perfect thing to have for dinner once the weather was warm, and on a night when we had plenty of running around to do. It was really easy to throw together.
I started by getting my sauce together. Everything for this sauce goes into the food processor (or blender) making prep really simple.
I whirled together some toasted sesame seeds, chunky peanut butter, minced garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Tabasco sauce, and brown sugar together until the mixture was nice and smooth. Then, with the processor running, I drizzled in some hot water, and let it whirl some more, until the mixture had the consistency of heavy cream. The amazing thing about this sauce is, it has so many rich ingredients, but when all is said and done, it’s really a light, fresh tasting sauce, just packed with amazing flavor. You don’t want it to be thick and heavy, so that’s where the water comes into play.
Once my sauce was ready, I got my chicken ready to pop in the oven. This is when I realized that my new oven (we just moved here last May) apparently didn’t come with a broiler pan! I guess that’s not standard anymore? Anyway, I improvised, and set one of my cookie racks over a cookie sheet, and then sprayed it with nonstick spray before laying my chicken breasts on top.
I sprinkled the chicken with salt and pepper, and set them under the broiler to cook.
The chicken cooked for a few minutes on one side, and then I flipped the chicken breasts so the other side could finish up. Once they were cooked through, I removed them from the oven and, using two forks, shredded up the chicken and set it aside.
Next, I got my noodles going. The noodles, in this case, were Udon noodles.
You could use regular spaghetti noodles, but if you can find these (usually in the Asian section of the grocery store), go ahead and give them a try. They weren’t too thick, just slightly thicker than regular spaghetti, but have this wonderful bite to them when they’re cooked. Plus, they took practically no time at all to cook up, just about 4-5 minutes, and then they were ready to drain and rinsed with cold water.
As the noodles were cooking, I shredded up a carrot and sliced up a few green onions.
Once everything was ready, I threw the veggies, the noodles, the chicken, and the sauce into a large bowl and tossed all of it together.
The end result was amazing, and definitely something I’ll add to our spring-summer meal schedule! It’s everything I was looking for to fulfill my peanut sauce craving. The sauce is so flavorful, and everything tastes so deliciously fresh and light together. It’s the perfect warm weather meal. Added bonus? It’s a cold dish, so the leftovers are wonderful and easy the next day! It would even be the perfect dish for a pot luck. In fact, I sent the leftovers into work with my husband the next day to share with his coworkers and he told me last night that they’ve been asking for the recipe ever since. So, here you go! 🙂
SESAME NOODLES WITH SHREDDED CHICKEN
Adapted from Cooking.com
- ¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted, and divided
- ¼ cup chunky peanut butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger, or refrigerated ginger paste
- 5 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
- 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
- hot water
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, or you could use rotisserie chicken and cut out the chicken cooking part all together!
- 1 lb. Asian thin Udon noodles or 12 oz. spaghetti
- 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 4 green onions, sliced thin on diagonal
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- Set aside 1 Tablespoon of the toasted sesame seeds for garnish. Set a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Preheat your broiler, and set an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler element.
- While the water is heating up, add the rest of the sesame seeds, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hot sauce, and brown sugar to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Puree the mixture until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the machine running, drizzle in the hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce has the consistency of heavy cream, about 4-5 tablespoons. Set the sauce aside.
- Spray a broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray, and lay the chicken breasts on the pan. Place the chicken under the broiler, and cook until the tops are browned, 4-8 minutes. Flip the chicken, and continue to cook until the chicken breasts are cooked through, 6-8 minutes more. Keep an eye on your chicken, and make sure it's cooked to 160*F. Time will depend on how thick the chicken breasts are.
- Once the chicken is done, remove it to a cutting board, let it cool for a couple of minutes, and then shred the chicken with two forks.
- As the chicken is cooking, add some salt to the boiling water, and then add the noodles. Cook according to the directions on the package. Drain, and rinse with cold water. Drain again.
- Place the drained noodles in a large bowl. Toss with the sesame oil. Add the green onion, carrot, chicken, and the sauce. Toss until everything is well coated.
- Sprinkle with the rest of the toasted sesame seeds and serve.