ASIAN CHICKEN & SOBA NOODLE SALAD
Here’s a fabulous salad recipe with lots of crunch and color for your Summer buffets!
This recipe was created as part of a cold buffet dinner planned for my Fairies in the Forest Twilight Soiree. As I started putting together the party’s menu, I naturally thought of doing some kind of pasta salad.
Pasta salad, yes, but it wouldn’t be the tried-and-true “bowtie and vegies” BBQ fare. Still, it did need to be colorful and substantial enough to serve as a second entree salad to help round out the menu choices.
So what to choose? Chicken was the obvious choice of protein, as I wanted to make my Mexicali Steak Salad Platter for the party too.
Since it seemed that I had already jumped onto the ethnic food bandwagon, I decided I’d go Asian and my pasta would be buckwheat soba noodles. I love the earthy flavor and chewy texture of buckwheat!
PERSONALIZE YOUR ASIAN CHICKEN & SOBA NOODLE SALAD ANY WAY YOU WANT
This salad is really just a loosely held-together concept, allowing for you to customize it with your favorites and leaving out what’s not.
Whatever mix of ingredients you choose, plan to have a nice combination of colors in the bowl.
It takes some real effort to elevate the sad shade of, actually I’m at a loss as to what to call the color, of cooked buckwheat soba noodles.
I guess I’ll be kind and say it’s “mushroomy white”. Sorry, that’s the best I can do!
When planning a theme party, I try to give myself a few shortcuts. It’s not fun running around like a chicken-with-my-head-cut-off on the day of an event.
To that end, I decided to use one of my favorite store-bought sesame-ginger dressings on this salad to keep the prep super simple and the assembly fast.
Most of the salad’s ingredients can be prepped the day before you’re serving it, but you’ll want to cook the noodles, assemble and chill the salad the day it will be eaten.
NAN’S TIP: FOR EXTRA TASTY PASTA SALAD, LIGHTLY TOSS THE PASTA/NOODLES IN THE DRESSING WHILE THEY ARE STILL VERY WARM FROM COOKING.
PASTA SALAD 101 – Make the pasta work for you!
Pasta doesn’t really have much flavor on it’s own, unless you’re using a lovely buckwheat noodle such as these, or perhaps one of the pretty “vegie” flavored varieties.
So, doesn’t it makes sense to give the noodles as much flavor as possible before adding the remaining ingredients?
Warm noodles are able to absorb flavors much better than cold ones. I guess its “pores” are open and receptive? Strange analogy, but it kind of makes sense, right?
- After draining your pasta, put it into a large bowl and let cool for 2-3 minutes
- Then pour in some of your dressing and toss lightly using a pair of tongs
- Aim to only lightly coat the noodles, as you’ll be adding more dressing when you assemble the salad
- Cool the noodles and let them chill completely before assembling and dressing the salad
IT’S PARTY DAY – Time to assemble the Asian Chicken & Soba Noodle Salad
Aim to assemble, dress and chill the salad at least 2-3 hours prior to serving.
This will give it time to allow all the flavors to meld into a sesame, gingery loveliness.
You might notice in the pics that there’s something strange-looking hanging around. It’s crispy seaweed sheets!
They’re a wonderful, crunchy (and pretty) garnish for your Asian Chicken & Soba Noodle Salad. You can find them in the Asian food department of your grocers, in foil-wrapped packages.
I hope you try this quick and easy salad for your next cold dinner or Summer party! It’s got the added benefit of being a fabulous leftover to use for lunch the next day!
FAIRIES IN THE FOREST TWILIGHT SOIREE
You should check out this fabulous “end-of-the-Summer” soiree that’s a fabulous way to celebrate a magical “fairy-like” evening with friends and family.
Here’s what you’ll find waiting for you:
- Full menu – Signature Cocktail/2 Appetizers/Cold Buffet/Cake & Ice Cream Dessert
- 3 Fairies in the Forest themed Printable Invitation Designs to choose from
- Table Centerpiece, Napkins and Table Runner DIY Projects
- Fairy Lite Blossom Chandelier DIY Project
- Moss-Framed Menu DIY Project
- Guest Take-Home Party Favors
- Party and Buffet Building Tips/Hacks
YOU’RE NOT A SUBSCRIBER YET? Why not join in on the fun!
There’s always something fabulous happening here at Ingredients For A Fabulous Life, you don’t want to miss out, do you?
Join the IFAFL Email Subscriber List to get instant access to the IFAFL Resource Library and receive our twice-weekly emails. Just fill out the form on the HOME PAGE to start receiving our newsletters and start printing out all the FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOADS.
Come join the gang in our Facebook group and get in on the gabfest at, The Fab Life! That’s where we show off our triumphs and share our pursuit of “the good life” with each other all week long.
- 12 oz. Japanese soba buckwheat noodles
- 2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 1/2 each, yellow and orange bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup snow peas
- 1/3 cup crunchy sprouts (see notes)
- 1 cup shelled edaname
- 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger root
- Asian salad dressing of your choice
- Toasted sesame seeds, optional
- Dried seaweed sheets, optional
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook soba noodles until al dente, or slightly under cooked. This happens very quickly, so watch the pot carefully with your spider or large slotted spoon at the ready.
- Just as the noodles become al dente, start scooping them out of the simmering water with a slotted spoon or spider and place into a large bowl. (keep the water simmering)
- Let the noodles cool for 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the dressing to the bowl and toss gently with a pair of tongs to coat all the noodles. Cool and then refrigerate soba noodles.
- With the pot of salted water still simmering, drop in your snow peas to blanch for 30 seconds. Drain water and immediately plunge the snow peas into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. You still want some crunch!
- Cut the cooled snow peas in half on the bias. (see notes)
- Place all the prepared vegetables, chicken and ginger in a large bowl and toss well to combine.
- Combine noodles and vegetable/chicken mixture in one large bowl, add dressing, tossing to coat all the ingredients.
- Chill for at least 2-3 hours prior to serving.
- Optional garnishes include toasted sesame seeds and/or dried seaweed sheets cut into triangles.
If you'd like to see how to cut vegetables on the bias, I've got some tips under the Foodietown tab in the home page menu bar. I wouldn't leave you hanging!
I also have a whole post on how to grow your own sprouts over in the Foodietown section too! Now we're cookin'!
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 229Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 55mgSodium 277mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 20g