Monday, September 7

Chinese Cold Noodles with Peanut-Sesame Paste and Cucumbers

This dish is traditionally made with roasted sesame paste which is sold in a jar, but peanut butter can be substituted here for good reasons and great results.  Not only does it taste light and less greasy, it also compliments the freshness when served with fresh summer vegetables - cucumbers and bean sprouts.

Ingredients (4 servings):
1. 2 chicken quarters or 4 chicken thighs.
2. 2 cups shredded cucumbers (English cucumber or Japanese cucumber, neither one needs to be peeled or seeded).
3. 240 g bean sprouts (about a small handful for each serving), with roots removed, washed clean.
4. 4 servings Chinese wheat noodles or Japanese somen noodles.
Seasonings for chicken:
1. 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2. 1 tablespoon rice wine
3. 1 tablespoon red peppercorns (optional)
Ingredients for peanut-sesame paste:
1. 4 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
2. 1 cup lukewarm water
3. 4 tablespoons sesame oil
4. 1 tablespoon hot sesame oil
5. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
7. 1 to 2 table spoons minced garlic
1. Rub the seasonings, salt, rice wine and red peppercorns, on to the chicken.  Keep it in fridge for at least half day.
2. Wipe off the red peppercorns from the chickens. Fully cook the chickens with a steamer (the juice comes out clear when a chopstick is inserted).
3. Shred the chicken meat when they have completely cooled off.
4. Boil water in a deep pot.  Cook the bean sprouts for 30 seconds.  Drain the bean sprouts from the boiling water, and then soak them in a pot of ice cold water.  Once they are completely cool, drain them and keep them in the fridge before serving.
5. Start making the paste by gradually adding the lukewarm water into the peanut butter.  Just add few table spoons of water each time and mix well before next adding.  Stop adding water once the mixture is easy to stir with the spoon.  Then add in other listed ingredients for the paste.  Adjust the quantities based on your preference.
6. Boil the noodles in a deep pot (somen noodles only need to boil for 2 to 3 minutes).  Drain the boiling water, soak the noodles in cold water or rinse them with cold tap water until they're completely cool.  Drain them well.
7. Serve the noodles topped with bean sprouts, chicken and cucumbers shredded.

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