I'm back! I'm alive! I am a survivor! I seriously had no idea that Wyoming had billions and billions and billions and billions of mosquito's (no exaggeration). I'm never going back!
I missed my family and I missed my cooking (not kidding). Let's get cookin'....
I came across this recipe several years ago in a Nordstrom Cookbook. I made some changes to suit the family. I added a little more heat and grilled the chicken instead of Panko frying. We love this salad in the heat of summer. It's a cool summer main course dinner for us. The family gives it two thumbs up! How often does that happen?
The recipe has several steps. We are going to take each step one at a time. Alot of this recipe can be prepared early in the day then at dinner time it's a matter of assembly.
Step #1: Marinated Noodles
You will need one pound of Soba noodles. I chose this particular brand because they are Buckwheat noodles which = healthy and good for the body. You can choose your favorite noodle for this salad. Like this brand...
It's all good.
For the marinated noodles you will need, like I said, 1 lb. of soba noodles (I do like fresh), soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, fresh ginger, fresh chili paste (like Sambal) and ground white pepper.
Here's my Buckwheat Soba noodles. Put a pot of water of the stove and bring it to a boil. When it comes to a boil...
Drop in your noodles and cook for only one minute.
Oh my gosh! This is such a blurry picture. Do you know how hard it is to take a picture with one hand while trying to drop the noodles in with the other hand, while talking to Tiffany (almost 20 years old, I had her when I was 10) while she is grocery shopping because she doesn't like to go the the store ALONE in Rexburg, ID! Tiff are you kidding?? I love you.
The fresh noodles will cook very fast. No longer than one minute or you will have mush.
Drain the noodles in a strainer. Run cold water over the noodles to cool them off then let them drain for a few minutes while you are preparing the marinade.
Do you remember the list of ingredients for the marinade? If not, scroll up and take a look. There just happened to be two garlic cloves on that cutting board. Give them a whack with your knife and chop them.
Set them aside for a minute.
Cut off a piece of ginger about 3-inches long. Peel the ginger...
Then slice it, then...
In a large mixing bowl, add the soy sauce...
...that garlic you just chopped...
...add the sesame oil. Now remember that sesame oil has a very strong flavor. I use it as a flavoring oil. So just a bit will give it a lot of flavor. If you like a stronger sesame flavor, by all means add as much as you want.
Add the fresh ginger you peeled and chopped.
Stop and take a moment to smell your hands. Love that fresh ginger. Now if you're a thrill seeker, eat a piece...love that heat.
Time to add the heat. We go threw a lot of this chili paste. Good stuff! I could double the amount and my family would be so happy.
For all you pansy's out there who can't take the heat, just try half the amount. Whatever you do don't omit the chili paste. Geez!
Finally add the ground white pepper.
Give the mixture a whisk.
Pour the marinade over the soba noodles.
Stir the noodles well to make sure they are all covered with the marinade well.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2-8 hours. I wouldn't marinade longer that 8 hours. This has quite a bit of soy sauce in it and the noodles will become very salty.
You have just completed step #1.
Step #2: Chicken Marinade
This is easy. You will need more soy sauce (don't put the bottle away), brown sugar, oil, and more fresh ginger (just chop a ton of it because you are going to need more). I really love fresh ginger.
In a small bowl add the soy sauce...
...and the chopped ginger.
Give the marinade a whisk to combine.
This will make enough to marinade four chicken breasts
Place the chicken breasts in a re-sealable plastic bag.
Pour the marinade over the chicken.
Re-seal the bag and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 2-8 hours. Just like the noodles.
You have just finished step #2. That was easy.
Step #3: Ginger Vinaigrette and salad
I'm giving you a choice here. You can make this vinaigrette or you can purchase a bottle of a Sesame Ginger dressing. Your choice. I just make my own because I generally have all the ingredients on hand and it's easy.
You will need rice vinegar, Aji Mirin, soy sauce, sugar, fresh ginger ( I told you you would need more), sesame oil and light olive oil.
In a small bowl or a measuring cup add the rice vinegar...
...the Aji Mirin...
...and the light olive oil.
You can actually make this in your blender, but I'm using my hand emulsion blender (love it).
This only takes a couple of minutes.
Keep blending until the vinaigrette is smooth.
Set the dressing aside. You can make this a couple of days in advance. If the olive oil starts to solidify a bit, must bring the vinaigrette to room temperature and whisk it a bit to blend.
For the salad you will need about 8 cups of leafing greens. Look at these beautiful greens that I purchased and the Farmers Market. Simply fabulous! LOVE FARMERS MARKETS! Support them in your local area.
You will need some chopped fresh pineapple. I don't think I'd use canned pineapple. Nope I wouldn't do it.
If you have a nice ripe mango, you can toss that in as well. I just love the cooling effect in my mouth when I get a bite of the fruit.
You will need 1/2 of a red pepper. You can really chop it however you would like. You can leave it in strips or dice. Since we eat this salad with chop sticks, I'm leaving the pepper pieces just a little bigger.
Chop a few green onions.
Place the torn lettuce in a large mixing bowl.
Add the red peppers....
...mango and geen onions...
...and the diced pineapple. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
That is the end of step #3.
Step #4: Fried Won Ton's
If you are being uber healthy, you can omit this step. I really like the crunch it gives the salad. You will need about 1/2 a package of Won Ton wraps. They are generally square, but the store was out so I purchased round Gyoza wraps instead. It's all good. They will work the same.
Cut the won ton wraps with a knife. Whatever thickness you like.
Separate them. Sometimes those little suckers stick together.
Drop them into hot oil about 350-375 degrees. They will fry up in seconds so don't leave them. You should really never leave hot oil on the stove top - EVER!
Remove from the hot oil and place on a paper towel to drain. Set aside. The fried won ton's can be made a day in advance. I have actually made them a week in advance then I put them in a ziplock bag and put them in the freezer. Worked quite well actually.
You have just completed step #4.
Step #5 - Grilling the marinated Chicken
I like to heat my grill to high then I put on the chicken and turn the temperature down to low. This works for me.
Grill the chicken for about 6-8 minutes per side. When the chicken is no longer pink inside, remove from the grill and let rest for about 7-10 minutes.
Slice each breast into thin slices. Set aside while assembling the rest of the salad.
You're almost finished! One last step.
Step #6: Assembly
I know what you're thinking...6 steps is she kidding me! This is the final step. Hang in there. Remove the salad from the refrigerator and drizzle about 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss.
You will now need to remove the marinating noodles from the refrigerator. Divide the noodles into 5 or 6 shallow bowls or large plates.
Divide and arrange the salad on top of the noodles.
Nicely fan out the chicken on top of the salad.
Top with the fried Won Ton's and sprinkle with some chopped macadamia nuts.
That's it! That was SO worth the effort. Light and cool for a summer supper. A Barton family favorite.
Grab some chopsticks and dig in. Just the right amount of spice mixed with the sweet of the mango and pineapple.
Don't bother me I'm eating.
Chicken Yakisoba Salad
½ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground fresh chili paste (like Sambal)
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 pound fresh yakisoba noodles
2-4 chicken breasts
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup oil
2 tablespoons fresh, minced ginger
¼ cup rice vinegar1 tablespoon Aji Mirin (rice wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 cup light olive oil
8 cups mixed salad greens, washed and torn
½ red pepper, diced
3 green onions, chopped
½ cup fresh pineapple,
¼ cup mango, diced
Fried Won Ton’s
Grilled Chicken breasts, sliced
Chopped macadamia nuts
To make the Marinated Noodles: In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, chili paste and white pepper. Whisk together until thoroughly combined and the sugar has dissolved.
Bring a 4-quart saucepan two-thirds full of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and cook for only 1 minute, then pour into a colander. Rinse the noodles under running cold water. Allow to drain for 2 minutes than add the noodles to the marinade and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 8 hours.
To make chicken Marinade: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, oil and ginger. Place the chicken breasts in a re-sealable bag. Pour marinade over the chicken breasts. Refrigerate and for about 2 hours. Grill Chicken over medium heat. When chicken in no longer pink, remove from grill. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes. Slice into thin slices.
To make the Ginger Vinaigrette: Place the rice vinegar, Aji Mirin, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, sesame oil and olive oil in a blender. Blend until the ingredients are smooth. This can be made a day in advance. Let stand a room temperature for an hour, if oil has solidified.
Assembly: In a large bowl, add the mixed salad greens, red pepper, green onions, pineapple, mango and sliced toasted almonds. Drizzle with desired amount of the Ginger Vinaigrette. Use just enough dressing to lightly coat the greens. Set aside. Divide the marinated noodles between 4 shallow bowls. Top each bowl of noodles with about 2 cups of the mixed salad. Arrange grilled chicken strips on top of the salad and garnish with fried won ton strips. Serve immediately.
Holy Cow this is a long post!
Play with the flavors and let me know your families favorite version of this summer supper.
Someday I will try layering this salad in a tall clear glass bowl. That could look pretty to serve as a side dish.
Ahh maybe next year.