01 September 2011

Sesame Citrus Noodle Salad with Baby Bok Choy and Grilled Chicken

We've been having some great Santa Barbara weather recently.  Sunny, clear skies, warm temperatures, and low humidity.  It's weather like this that makes me glad to be alive, that makes me feel more alive, and that pulls me into a place of relaxation.

On these lazy end-of-summer evenings, all I want to dig into for supper is something simple, light, and fresh, like this cool sesame citrus noodle salad with grilled chicken.  Juice from our garden's navel oranges and green onions from the remains of last season's vegetable garden add fun bursts of flavor, and the array of greens, from the dark red leaf lettuce to the bright baby bok choy, gives visual interest.

In this California fusion dish, I use one of my favorite ingredients, doenjang (Korean fermented bean paste), but you could substitute miso paste if that is more readily available.

A delicious and cooling entrée for a warm summery evening!

Sesame Citrus Noodle Salad with Baby Bok Choy and Grilled Chicken
Makes 4 servings

½ lb. linguine
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. roasted sesame seeds
2 large chicken breasts
Sea salt

3 heads baby bok choy, finely sliced (about 3 cups)
3 cups finely sliced or shredded green cabbage
1 cup green onion (green parts only), cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup English (hothouse) cucumber in ½-moon slices
4 cups red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

¼ cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
1 ½ Tbs. doenjang (Korean fermented bean paste)
1 Tbs. rice vinegar

Bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil, then break linguine pieces in half and cook according to package directions.  Drain linguine and rinse with cold water to cool, then drain thoroughly and transfer noodles to a large mixing bowl.  Toss linguine with sesame oil and sesame seeds to coat all strands.

Place chicken breasts between pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until flattened to uniform thickness; sprinkle each side with sea salt.  Grill chicken over high heat, turning once, about 4 minutes per side (more or less depending on thickness of the meat).  Transfer chicken to a platter and cover with foil, letting rest at least 5 minutes.  After the chicken has rested, slice into ½-inch slices.  (Can be made several days ahead and kept refrigerated; return to room temperature before continuing.)

Add the bok choy, cabbage, green onions, cucumber, and lettuce to the sesame noodles.  In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, doenjang, and rice vinegar, then drizzle over salad.  Toss salad thoroughly to combine all ingredients, adjusting seasoning with more sea salt to taste.

Divide salad among four plates and arrange half of a sliced chicken breast over each.  Pass extra dressing at the table.


Unknown said...

Doenjang in the salad dressing? How creative! I should try it soon.

erica said...

yeah! it gives a nice saltiness and a great layer of complexity to the flavor of the dressing! :)

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have thought to do it myself though I've used miso... hm, I'll have to try it, too. love bok choy... one of my favorite veggies!

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