Bold flavors and textures make this salad memorable. Every time. This is a favorite salad with our customers. We started making this for the masses over 10 years ago. Hoping we can get this in our pop-up menu rotation this summer. If you want to try this at home, there’s tremendous flexibility in what you choose to add to the salad. We do suggest a variety of colorful, crisp, fresh vegetables for visual appeal and if you choose to add a protein, marinate, grill and chill before tossing with the noodles and vegetables. Adding toasted sesame seeds, a favorite sambal and lime wedges for individual squeezing just lifts it to a new level in flavor. You can prep all ingredients in advance and toss with dressing just before serving. Chilled noodle salad on a scorching day. What more could you want?
Makes 4-5 entree size servings OR one large party size platter
FOR THE CHICKEN (or TOFU)
- 6 boneless skinless organic chicken thighs
- 1/4 C sesame oil
- 1/4 C organic tamari (or soyu)
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 4 T fresh organic ginger, shredded
- 3 T sambal
- 3 T organic sugar
- 2 T rice wine vinegar
- 1 T organic lime zest
Put chicken thighs in a shallow baking pan. In a medium size mixing bowl, add sesame oil, tamari, garlic, shallot, ginger, sambal, sugar, rice wine vinegar and lime zest. Mix well. Pour over the chicken, coating all sides. Cover pan and refrigerate for 4 hours or over night. After marinating is complete, heat grill to a medium high. Cook thighs for approximately 8-10 minutes per side. When done, cool and chop into bite size pieces. Set aside until salad assembly commences. Discard marinade.
If using Tofu instead of chicken, use firm tofu. Keep tofu in large slabs and follow the same steps for chicken EXCEPT for the marinating and grilling process. Tofu only requires about 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Overnight tends to break down the tofu. You want it firm for grilling or it will just fall through the grate. Grill for approximately 3-4 minutes per side – just enough to caramelize the edges and score the tofu slabs. Once grilled and cool enough to handle, cut tofu into bite size pieces and set aside until salad assembly commences.
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
- 1/2 C good sesame oil
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 C rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 C organic tamari (start with 3)
- 3 T honey or agave
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 T fresh organic ginger, grated
- 1 T sambal or sriracha
- 1 T fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
In a medium size mixing bowl, add all ingredients (starting with 3 tablespoons of tamari – you can add more if you need more salt flavor), whisk to combine and pour into glass jar until you’re ready to toss the salad.
FOR THE SALAD INGREDIENTS
- 2 lbs fresh yakisoba noodles (we used Chinese noodles. They are a little thicker than Japanese yakisoba and held up well to the dressing)
- 4 C fresh organic broccoli florets, cut into bite size pieces
- 2-3 organic cucumbers
- 12-15 organic radishes, stemmed
- 3 C organic edamame, cooked
- 2 large organic red or yellow bell peppers, seeded and julienne cut into 1″ lengths
- 1 C fresh Thai basil, chiffonade cut
- 3 C organic lacinato kale, chiffonade cut (or other leafy green)
- 1 bunch organic scallions, cut into 1/2″ lengths (approximately 1-1/2 cups)
- 1/4 C toasted black sesame seeds
- 1/4 C toasted white sesame seeds
- Lime wedges (optional)
Cook yakisoba according to directions. Run under cold water to cool. Drain and set aside until ready to assemble. Blanch broccoli florets for 2 minutes in salted boiling water. Immediately remove from water and plunge into an ice bath for several minutes. Once chilled, drain and set aside. Cut cucumbers lengthwise and then slice at an angle. No need to seed or peel. Julienne cut radishes so you get sort of a confetti of radishes. Cut bell peppers according to directions. Once all vegetables are prepped, you can store in containers in your fridge until you’re ready to assemble. Once ready, toss all vegetables with the noodles. If plating individual portions, equally divide chicken (or tofu) on each plate of noodles & vegetables. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and scallions and pour dressing over the top. If serving on a large platter, simply toss all ingredients in a large bowl with dressing. Pour out onto a platter and garnish with sesame seeds, scallions, lime wedges, extra sambal and extra dressing on the side. Guests will love it!!
This salad welcomes a lot of different ingredients. Soba noodles, shredded carrot, pan seared cabbage (chilled), organic baby spinach, organic peas, sweet onion, grilled zucchini or yellow squash, blanched green beans (chilled), bean sprouts, organic celery, grilled mushrooms, grilled shrimp, chicken breast instead of chicken thighs, marinated grilled tempeh, grilled chilis, roasted peanuts and even peanut sauce would be good!
For a Vegan or Vegetarian version, simply make this salad with tofu or all veggie!