If you’ve ever been through a kitchen remodel, you know what a pain it is to be without a stove. My home kitchen is getting a facelift, including a new range/stove. Thanks to my grill with a side burner I can still cook just about everything, but I’ve also turned to prepared foods and no-cook dishes.
For this recipe I relied on a staple that so many of us turn to for a quick meal: rotisserie chicken. And, really, what’s not to like? They are tasty, inexpensive and convenient. Plus, larger ones provide a lot of servings. Need I say more?
What I like about today’s recipe is that it’s not only trendy but ideal for summer entertaining. Plus, there is just something comforting about serving food in a bowl.
These meals typically have a protein and vegetables (or all vegetables) with noodles or grains arranged neatly in a bowl. Basically, the bowls contain anything you have on hand or even leftovers. Some are really saucy, while others may be brothy. Part of the appeal is how pretty the ingredients look when arranged in the bowl. With all the vibrant produce coming in it’s easy to get creative when making them look pretty.
If you’re serving lots of guests, you can set up a noodle bowl bar. Put all the ingredients in separate bowls and have a sample of one out of how it’s supposed to look. Let your guests dig in and make up their own bowl. Having all the ingredients separated also means picky eaters can be picky. And having it outside on the deck makes for casual, breezy entertaining.
This recipe features common Asian ingredients from soy sauce and sesame oil to napa cabbage and rice noodles. What I like about this recipe is the crisp cucumber, red bell pepper and napa cabbage. I like to use napa cabbage a lot as a salad ingredient or stirred into broths. Its soft, crinkling leaves make for an interesting texture.
The peanut sauce is also a highlight. My relatives and friends tell me I make a good peanut sauce. But I am always eager to try new versions. I like a peanut sauce that has a bit of heat, but is balanced with other flavors.
Today’s recipe for Chicken Noodle Bowl with a Peanut Ginger Sauce uses a good amount of ginger in the sauce. Ginger, in any recipe, will add a spicy kick without the heat. This recipe also has crushed red pepper for additional heat. You can add it to taste. Because peanut butter texture varies by brand, you may need to thin the sauce. Once the sauce is made, any leftovers will keep at least a week in the refrigerator.
Chicken Noodle Bowl With Peanut-Ginger Sauce
Adapted from Southern Living magazine, June 2016 issue. Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fish sauce, optional
8 cups water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
6 ounces round (not flat) rice noodles
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 cups shredded napa cabbage
1-1/2 cups halved and thinly sliced seedless cucumber
1-1/2 cups matchstick carrots
1-1/2 cups thinly sliced red bell pepper
6 tablespoons chopped lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts or cashews
3 green onions, thinly sliced, optional
To make the sauce: In a food processor or blender, process all the sauce ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and spices to taste.
To prepare the chicken noodle bowl: Microwave water in a large bowl on high for 10 minutes. Stir vinegar and salt into boiling water. Add the noodles and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain noodles. Or prepare noodles according to package directions.
Divide noodles, chicken, cabbage, cucumber, carrots and bell pepper among 6 bowls. Top each bowl with 1 tablespoon peanuts and 2 tablespoons of the Peanut-Ginger Sauce. Garnish with green onions if desired. Serve remaining sauce on the side.