Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spicy Asian Noodle Salad



This noodle salad is always a big hit at potlucks, picnics, and gatherings.  It is quite spicy, which is what I personally love about it.  The salad is best made ahead of time, preferably the day before. This gives the flavors time to blend. Also, it is intended to be served chilled, so it needs at least a few hours in the refrigerator after preparation.
For the dressing:
I know it is cheating, but I absolutely love Trader Joe's Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette. I use the whole bottle (12 oz.) for one recipe of noodle salad. It is sold with refrigerated salad dressings at Trader Joe's. If you are unable to get this dressing, the next best thing is the same amount of ready made thai peanut sauce.  As you can see from the recipe, if convenience is the priority, Trader Joe's is a one stop shop to make this delicious side dish.
For the noodle salad:
1 lb linguine
8 oz. cooked chicken, diced into small pieces
4 green onions (scallions) thinly sliced
3 peppers, yellow, orange or red, cut into very thin strips (or use about 6 oz. Trader Joe's frozen pepper strips, let thaw before before using.)
2-3 carrots, grated (or about 4 oz. Trader Joe's prepackaged shredded carrots)
3-4 tablespoons sesame seeds
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the linguine according to package directions. When pasta is al dente strain and set aside. In the pasta pot, put the dressing/peanut sauce, and combine all of the other ingredients. Pour the pasta back into the pot, and stir thoroughly until all of the ingredients are mixed together consistently. That is it! What could be simpler? Now all you need to do is put the pasta salad in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate at least a few hours before serving. It is even tastier if you let it sit overnight. Enjoy!!

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