15 September 2012

Peanut and Lime Chicken Noodle Salad

Ever since I saw this chicken noodle salad over at Smitten Kitchen I have had a hankering for it and with the arrival of Spring and post Wellington on Plate, our NZ Food Blogger Conference, a Persian cooking class, and a few too many lunches, a few too many vinos and my body was starting to rebel and I was most definitely in a salad frame of mind.  However not the run of the mill lettuce, tomato and cucumber that only leaves you wanting, and virtuous for only a while before an inevitable trip to the vending machine or dairy for a mid afternoon snack of the salty or chocolate variety.  So it needed to be something light but bursting with flavour and with chilli, lime, ginger and soy this salad was always going to hit the spot.  There are quite a few ingredients and a couple of sauces to make, but it doesn’t take long, and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed by all these clean, bright, flavours.

Peanut and Lime Chicken Noodle Salad, adapted, only slightly, from the Smitten Kitchen


Serves 4

Dipping sauce
6 tbsp Asian fish sauce
6 tbsp brown sugar
12 tbsp lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red chilli, diced

Peanut dressing
3 tbsp Asian fish sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
9 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 one-and-a-half inch chunk ginger, peeled and sliced
6 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Pinch of cayenne

Chicken and noodle salad
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
8 ounces dried rice noodles
1 small cucumbers, julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned
4 spring onion, julienned
Small handful mint, roughly chopped (you could also use coriander & basil)
1/4 cup crushed or chopped roasted peanuts
Lime wedges (to serve)


First up make the dipping sauce. Place all the ingredients in to a small bowl and whisk well together until the sugar is dissolved.  Set aside to allow the flavours to meld and develop.
For the peanut dressing place all the ingredients in to a blender or food processor and puree until you have a smooth sauce. Pour in to a serving bowl and set aside.

For the marinade stir together half the dipping sauce and one third of the peanut sauce in a baking dish.  Add the chicken and toss to coat with the marinade.  Leave the chicken to marinate for at least 15 minutes.  Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions.

For the chicken stir together 1/2 the dipping sauce and 1/3 the peanut dressing (you can eyeball this) in the bottom of a low-sided bowl or dish. Add the chicken to the mixture and toss to coat. Let marinate at least 15 minutes.
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions and then cool under running water.  Place in a colander and allow them drain.

Grill the chicken on a BBQ* or griddle pan until browned and cooked through.  It will take 3-4 minutes each side.  Leave the chicken to cool for a few minutes  before slicing in to bite sized pieces.
To assemble the salad pile the chicken,vegetables and lime wedges on on a large serving platter with bowls filled with the dressing and dipping sauce.  Scatter over some roasted peanuts and serve alongside bowls filled with the noodles so that everyone can help themselves.

To make up your salad pile some vegetables atop the noodles and give them a good drizzle of the dipping sauce.  Don’t be stingy as it is terribly moreish.  Top with the chicken, mint, some of the peanut dressing and some toasted peanuts.

*It may be officially spring but somewhat arctic climes have hit Auckland, we even had hail! So, sadly we have not quite hit BBQ weather just yet.

So much flavour!  That perfect sweet, sour, hot, spicy that wakens your taste buds and makes your mouth tingle.  The dipping sauce, the perfect balance of sweet and sour with a good fiery hit of chilli. The peanut sauce is savoury with a little zesty tartness from the lime and a little warmth from the ginger. The chicken, golden and tender with just a little charring alongside fresh crunchy vegetables doused in the dipping sauce makes this salad the polar opposite to run of the mill.

If you lie this you might like this Asian Slaw



  1. Yum, this sounds good. I've busted the boring salad recently given our changing in dietary regime and this is one I shall add to the armoury - minus the noodles and extra vegetables.

    1. Yes it does hit all the spots on flavour & I could actually easily have bypassed the noodles :)

  2. Mm I agree - bring on flavoursome salads. I stood at Moore Wilson's meat counter recently and much as I love them, just couldn't stand another beef cheek, lamb shank or other piece of slow cooked meat. Bring on summer.

    1. Oh yes so good spring has arrived! Looking forward to lazy evenings in the sunshine.

  3. Oh wow, thank you for sharing this, Mairi! We are still having lovely, warm weather and I'm in the mood for some different salads. This one looks delightful!

    1. Thanks Hannah, perfect for the end of summer!

  4. i know what you mean and after a weekend in Welly too i really should be eating this. Veggie shopping tonight

    1. Ha Ha...That would be after a delicious weekend in Melbourne! Can't wait to hear all about it!


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