Daily Archives: August 27, 2007

In-Your-Face Chicken Pasta Salad

Today is a different day; I’ve ricocheted from one side to the other. Same basic ingredients – whole (buck)wheat, broccoli, chicken and basil – only this time, it’s all out in the open. Out of the closet, if you will.

Sesame Soba with Chicken, Broccoli & Basil Vert

Sesame Soba with Chicken, Broccoli and Basil (PDF)
Recipe 239 of 365

Soba are Japanese buckwheat noodles, which have an earthier flavor than regular whole wheat noodles, and are better at soaking up sauces than traditional dried Italian pasta. If you’ve never cooked them, read the directions; they usually take less time than regular pasta.

This is a great way to use up a leftover cooked chicken breast (or all that meat that’s left on a roasted chicken after you cut the main parts off), but if you need to cook some for the recipe, just sear it over medium-high heat in a swirl of olive oil (added after the pan has heated up, of course), for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, turning the heat down on the second side, if needed.

TIME: 30 minutes (including cooking the chicken)
MAKES: 2 servings

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup sesame tahini (stir well, if new)
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/4 – 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha or even Japanese shichimi flakes), or to taste
4 ounces soba noodles
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
3 scallions, finely chopped (green and white parts)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, mix the rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy, tahini, sesame seeds, and chili sauce (if using) in a small bowl until well blended. Set aside. (If you’re cooking the chicken breast now, finish it before you start cooking the noodles.)

Cook the noodles according to package directions, until al dente, adding the broccoli florets to the water along with the noodles about 2 minutes before the noodles should be done. Drain the noodles and the broccoli together, transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the reserved sauce, and mix with tongs until smooth. (It may take a minute or two; the sauce is thick.) Add the shredded chicken, scallions, and basil, mix, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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