This recipe predates my kids. It’s one of their favorite summer dinners. I sometimes substitute pan-fried tofu for the shredded chicken, turning it into a completely vegan dish, though no less substantial.
To drink: a French Riesling from Alsace.
- 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- 1/4 cup regular or low-sodium creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced or finely grated fresh ginger root
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sambal oelek (chili paste)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
- Salt (for the cooking water)
- 1 pound dried spaghetti or spaghettini
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, cut in half, seeded and cut into half-moon slices
- 1 cup thinly sliced scallions (white and light-green parts)
- 1 large carrot, trimmed, peeled and shredded
- 8 ounces cooked skinless chicken breast, shredded
Combine the tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and sambal oelek in the bowl of a food processor. Process to form a thick paste. With the motor running, slowly add the water (as needed) through the feed tube and process to form a thick dressing. Transfer to a bowl or container with a pour spout, and cover.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook according to the "al dente" package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, then transfer the drained noodles to a large bowl and pour about one-third of the dressing over them; toss to coat thoroughly.
Add the cucumber, scallions, carrot and cooked chicken, then pour another one-third of the dressing on top. Toss gently but thoroughly until everything is well coated. Add the remaining dressing if needed; the noodles and other ingredients should be well coated, but not drowning, in the dressing.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until the noodles are thoroughly chilled. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.
Based on recipes in a 1993 Gourmet magazine and in "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest," by Mollie Katzen (Ten Speed Press, 1995).
Tested by Domenica Marchetti .
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