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Sesame Noodles with Chicken

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Serves six.

This Chinese-restaurant favorite becomes a main dish with the addition of browned chicken tenders. For more color and flavor, add some thinly sliced red pepper or grated carrots.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. dried plain or whole-grain spaghetti
  • 6 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup less-sodium ginger-flavored soy sauce
  • 6 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 lb. chicken tenders
  • 2 tsp. peanut oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions until the pasta is al dente. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water until cool. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl, and toss with 1 Tbs. of the sesame oil.

In a food processor, pulse the garlic until roughly chopped. Add the remaining 5 Tbs. sesame oil, and the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt. Process until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the bowl, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

Trim off any exposed tendon ends from the wide tips of the tenders, if necessary. Season the tenders with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Heat the peanut oil in a in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook the tenders until well browned on both sides and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the chicken to the spaghetti along with half of the scallions.

Pour about 1-1/4 cups of the dressing over the pasta and chicken and toss to coat. Add more dressing to taste—you may not need to use it all. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with the remaining scallions, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Pair these noodles with Crisp Asian Broccoli for a complete meal.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 770; Fat (g): 34; Fat Calories (kcal): 300; Saturated Fat (g): 6; Protein (g): 42; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 14; Carbohydrates (g): 75; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 11; Sodium (mg): 1560; Cholesterol (mg): 65; Fiber (g): 6;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I made half the recipe, and it worked well. I halved all ingredients except for the brown sugar; half would have been 2 tablespoons and I only added one. I used regular reduced-sodium soy sauce and added a little piece of fresh ginger to the processor. I tasted the sauce and thought it needed something so I added about 1/2 tsp fish sauce. I see now that the directions say to add salt that is not in the ingredient list! I did not notice that before and didn't add the salt. I think the fish sauce added better flavor than plain salt. I also added some shredded raw carrot. We enjoyed this.

I used a 1-inch chunk of freshly chopped ginger and definitely cut the 1/4 cup of brown sugar to 1 Tbs. I also used a few shakes of red pepper flakes instead of black. In place of frying tenders, I used a whole boneless breast basted with the toasted sesame oil, slow baked at 200 degrees for an hour and thin sliced on the bias when cooled. The chicken stayed incredibly moist and, with the addition of some fresh cilantro to the scallion, I had a winner. But it should chill overnight to absorb all flavors. CP

I did not have ginger flavoured soya sauce so used tamari and grated some fresh ginger in to mix. I chopped the garlic and put it in a bowl along with everything else and used an immersion blender (easier to clean than a food processor). I found the dressing too sweet. I should have used natural, unsweetened peanut butter but didn't have any. Or, I could have used less brown sugar. I added hot chili flakes in oil to add some heat and counter the sweetness and it was much better. I warmed up precooked prawns and put them, along with the dressing on wholewheat spaghettini. Not sure if I would make this one again as I have other recipes similar to this that I like better.

Super easy. I added cilantro instead of scallions. Very tasty, next go around I will add napa cabbage and maybe some wontons.

Very good and very easy. I added a bit of shredded ginger since I couldn't find ginger-flavoured soy sauce. I forgot the rice vinegar, but it was still very good and I'll do it next time without the vinegar. I'll make a 1/2 recipe for a family of 4.

I've been trying for years to find a good sesame noodles recipe, and I finally found one that suits my taste buds. As another poster mentioned, I could not find ginger-flavored soy sauce, so I used tamari and added a pinch of ginger. I also used sliced, pounded chicken breasts instead of tenders. I've shared this with several friends, and will definitely make it again!

The "quick" recipes are never as quick as I would like. That said, awesome noodles that could be a great base to any number of ingredients besides just chicken and scallions. We added cilantro and it was yummy. Good for leftover veggies and meat...

This dish was fabulous. I used a little less soy sauce and added a pinch of ground ginger (in place of the ginger soy sauce). The peanut sauce was just the right consistency to soak in to the chicken and pasta. Bravo - we'll make this one again!

My husband is a huge fan of the dan dan noodles that you find in Chinese restaurants. This came really close and he had 3 servings, which is a lot even by his standards. I used low sodium soy sauce and omitted the chicken so we ate it as a vegetarian dish. It was wonderful.

When I first read this recipe it sounded great, something my family would enjoy. However, the sauce was awful. I re-read the recipe several times to see if I had made a mistake? It was too salty and much thicker than what was mentioned in the article. I ended up throwing the sauce away and making a tomato sauce to go with the pasta. I have tried lots of recipes from Fine Cooking. This was my first that wasn't fine at all.

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