Cold Sesame Chicken Noodle Salad

Out of nowhere full-on, sweaty summer has arrived: temperatures in the 90s, soaring humidity, don't-even-bother-bringing-a-sweater kind of weather.

All I want when I come home is something cool and fresh. This salad is exactly what I was craving. Tangy, spicy and sweet Asian flavors coating succulent noodles and crisp snow peas – chilled to perfection with a hint of sesame.

Added bonus: you can whip out a batch ahead of time and it makes for superb leftovers. In fact, it’s best when left in the fridge for a while so the noodles and chicken really soak up the gingery, garlic dressing. It is one of my go-to dishes for summer potlucks.

If you are trying to cut down on carbs, just change the pasta to veggie ratio. When I want a lighter meal, I reduce the pasta by half and add more cabbage and snow peas. I also recommend adding bean sprout for an extra crunch!

What I love, besides the cool crunch, is that it is an all-in-one kinda meal. You don’t need a side or a salad, because everything is packed into one.  

Cold Sesame Chicken Noodle Salad

Serves 4.    |    Total Time: 30-40 mins. (depending on how chicken is cooked)


8 oz. vermicelli
6 oz.  snow peas
3 chicken breasts, cooked (pan-fried, boil or roasted up to you)
1 small head of napa cabbage
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1/3 cup  peanuts, chopped
½ bunch of cilantro (optional), chopped and for garnish
2 T.  toasted seasame seeds (garnish)

6 T.  rice wine vinegar
2 T.  soy sauce (reduced sodium)
3 T.  smooth or chunky peanut butter)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1-inch ginger, grated
2 tsp.  brown sugar
1 tsp.  Sriracha (or to taste)
3-6 T.  olive oil (to taste)
2 tsp.  sesame oil


1.  Whisk all vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter, garlic, ginger sugar and Sriracha for the dressing together in a small bowl until well blended. Whisk in both oils. 

2.  Cooked vermicelli according to package . During the last 30 second of cooking add in the snow peas. Then rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

3.  In a large bowl, add pasta, snow peas, cabbage, chicken and green onions. Pour in dressing and toss until all ingredients are coated. Cover and chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Add the peanuts, cilantro and sesame seeds for garnish and serve with Sriracha… and a cold beer.

***Vegetarian options:  Beyond increasing the amount of veggies you can:

1.  Use extra firm tofu instead of chicken. Drain tofu by placing a cutting board and something slightly weighted on top of it. Allow to sit for 10-20 minutes. Pat dry. Cut into 2 inch x 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch sticks. Then pan fry.

2.  Use egg instead of chicken. Whisk together a 3-4 eggs in a medium bowl. In three to four small batches, pour eggs into non-stick pan on medium heat without oil, swirling to coat the bottom with a thin layer and make thin crepe-like egg pancakes. Remove and roll the pancakes into cylinders and slice into thin strips. 

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