“Long Life” Noodle Salad
Yield: 4 generous servings
Chef’s Note: Chinese eat long noodles to symbolize having a long life. We always eat long noodles on birthdays and on Chinese New Year for good luck. It’s a great dish for families to prepare together, as each can take on preparing one or more of the ingredients. It’s also a great dish for pot lucks. As host, prepare the sauce and noodles, and ask guests to bring one of the toppings. If the sauce is too complicated to prepare, a mixture of low-sodium soy sauce and vinegar to taste is an easy, quick substitute.
- 1 pound whole wheat noodles (spaghetti, linguini or buckwheat soba noodles)
- 2 eggs
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
Peanut Butter and Pepper Sauce:
- 2 Tablespoons peanut butter diluted with 6 Tablespoons warm water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped scallion
- 1 cucumber, peeled, sliced
- ½ pound snow peas, stringed and blanched
- 2 cups spinach, rinsed, drained, chopped
- 2 cups leaf lettuce, rinsed, drained
- ½ cup green scallions, chopped
- 1 ½ cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed, drained
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped coarsely
- 1 cup of sliced, blanched asparagus
- ½ cup sliced radishes
- ½ c blanched green beans
- ½ c sliced celery
- ½ c blanched broccoli flowerets
To prepare the noodle base:
- Boil noodles according to package directions. When cooked, set aside.
- Beat eggs in a small bowl with a fork or whisk. Heat skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking oil. Pour in enough egg to make a thin pancake. Cook until bottom is set, and flip over to cook other side. Repeat until all egg is gone. Cool. Cut into strips.
- Poach chicken breasts in lightly salted water or chicken broth until just cooked through. Remove from pot and cool. Cut into strips.
- Place cooked noodles in a large bowl.
To make the Peanut Butter and Pepper Sauce:
Mix all ingredients except garlic and scallion into a very smooth sauce. Add garlic and scallion before serving. (I have to triple the sauce recipe as it is so good that everyone uses it all up!)
Each person place a mound of noodles in center of their dinner plate. Then, help themselves to any of the topping ingredients as desired, and top with a little of the Peanut Butter and Pepper Sauce.