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Cold Rice Noodles with Peanut-Lime Chicken

July 13, 2012
by Shannon Hepburn

Cold Rice Noodles with Peanut-Lime ChickenI’d like to highlight a recipe from one of the best blogs out there – smitten kitchen. This recipe comes by way of David Tanis and was originally published in his new column City Kitchen, for the New York Times.  The original recipe is worth checking out, but Deb from smitten kitchen has streamlined the recipe for folks.  I’m suggesting yet another shortcut.  WARNING: this recipe calls for numerous limes, but it’s totally worth it!  Plan on buying 5.


Cold Rice Noodles with Peanut-Lime Chicken
Dipping sauce
  • 6 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
  • Small Thai or Serrano chiles, thinly sliced, to taste (or omit if you prefer a milder dish)
Peanut dressing
  • 1½ tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 one inch chunk ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3-4 tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter
  • 1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Pinch of cayenne
Chicken and noodle salad
  • 1 package Misty Knoll Farms boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1½ lbs.) or sub tofu or tempeh for the chicken - you could also completely omit the protein and still have a satisfying dish
  • 8 ounces dried rice vermicelli or other rice noodles
  • 2 small cucumbers, cut in ¼-inch half moons
  • 2 medium carrots, cut in thin julienne
  • Additional vegetables, such as: diced tomatoes, chopped pac choi, thinly sliced fennel, a handful of arugula, grated raw beets - really, whatever veg you have hanging around
  • Small handful basil or mint or cilantro sprigs, or your favorite of the three (torn or roughly chopped)
  • 4 or more scallions, slivered
  • ¼ cup crushed or chopped roasted peanuts
  • Lime wedges (to serve)
  1. Make the dipping sauce:
  2. Whisk ingredients in a small serving bowl, making sure to dissolve the sugar. Leave to ripen for 15 minutes. Refrigerate any extra and use within a few days.
  3. Make the peanut dressing;In a blender or small food processor, puree all ingredients to a smooth sauce, about the thickness of heavy cream. Pour into a serving bowl.
  4. Prep the chicken:
  5. Toss the chicken breasts with a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil to coat and season with salt & pepper.
  6. Cook the noodles:
  7. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, then turn off the heat. Add the rice vermicelli and soak for 7 to 8 minutes. (Package directions may vary; check for doneness by tasting.) Drain when noodles are al dente, and cool under running water. Fluff and leave in strainer to drain well.
  8. Cook the chicken:
  9. Grill the chicken on an outdoor grill, a stove-top grill pan, or run under the broiler until nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes a side. Let cool slightly, then chop roughly into ¾-inch pieces. Toss the chopped chicken with ⅓ of the peanut sauce. Save the remaining sauce for drizzling over your noodle/veg bowl.
  10. To serve:
  11. At this point, you can place everything on a large serving platter, with piles or small bowls for noodles, vegetables, chicken, the dressing and marinade and toppings (peanuts, herbs) and let your family and friends put together their own bowls as they wish. Or, you can assemble it for everyone as suggested:
  12. Toss vegetables with 1 tablespoon dipping sauce in a small bowl. Divide the cooked noodles among 4 to 6 bowls. Top each bowl equally with vegetable mixture and chopped chicken. Toss each bowl with 2 teaspoons of each the dipping sauce and dressing, or more to taste (we used more). Add the herbs, peanuts and scallions to each bowl and serve with additional dressing and dipping sauce on the side.
  13. Makes 4 generous servings