I’m kind of having a moment with noodles.
Or, like, five million moments over the course of January 2015. The only reason I was compelled to make this in the first place was because it was time to move on from the Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Rice Noodles after making it for every meal for the last 30 days, and this seemed like a logical next step to, um, more noodles.
But these chopped chicken sesame noodle bowls are more than just delicious, fork-twirling noodles. This recipe is all about the homemade sesame-peanut sauce that’s super easy and ready to go with just your regular pantry ingredients. Plus there’s a parade of colorful shredded veggies and a handful of sautéed-in-sesame-sauce shredded chicken for good measure.
You’ll toss all those pretties up in the pan (hot or cold! whatchu like?), throw a handful of cilantro and red pepper flakes and sesame seeds on top because it looks awesome and it IS awesome, and boom.
You’ll be all googly-eyes over your winning meal of creamy, delicious, filling and mostly-healthy sesame noodle bowls.
So Bjork and I have some good news to share.
About dogs. Totally fitting to share right now, yeah? I know. I’m just kinda good like that.
After coming to terms with the fact that we might never get a dog because of Bjork’s allergies to everything in the world, we found out a few days ago that Bjork, in fact, is not allergic to dogs. NOT ALLERGIC TO DOGS. N-O-T. And when I say we found out, what I really mean is that he got the official medieval-style doctor’s office test where they scratch you with little sticks and your skin turn all red and blotchy, so these results are legit. I’ll show you a pict– oh, right. Okay, that’s cool.
Post-allergy-test, our first order of business was launching on a shopping spree for dust-and-allergen-and-everything mattress and pillow protectors and other extremely protective allergy-related items that made me know for certain that I live in America. Like, wow. This is our normal life where we buy these things. Okay then.
But more importantly: after the results came in, we started up the conversation about finally getting a puppy. A real live ball-fetching, face-licking, fur-shedding, I-love-you puppy.
Maybe a pug, because we have laughed at every single video on YouTube that shows up under the “pug” search results which is basically the same thing as owning one.
Or maybe a golden retriever because I like the idea of myself as a golden retriever owner. Like, I’d eat granola every morning and then go for a long run with my golden retriever, and he probably wouldn’t even need a leash because he’d be so cute and awesome.
I can’t evennn right now.
But you’re not even going to believe this weird thing that happened in my brain once we found out that Bjork wasn’t allergic. It’s kind of like when you think you want something, and then you’re finally able to get it, and then you realize that maybe you don’t want it after all.
WHO ARE WE.
We’re just so free right now, and we travel “for work” a lot, and we like being able to stay out late and not worry about getting home on time (for example, our wild late nights that involve driving over to Redbox for a movie and picking up a Papa Murphy’s pizza) – so all that to say, there is some question about whether or not the puppy is worth the loss of freedom.
I mean, wouldn’t it just make more sense to wait until we have kids when we’re already going to lose all freedom and THEN get a dog? PS. I hate myself right now.
And what about cleaning up dog hair? Cleaning – even just cleaning for people – isn’t one of our awesome-sauce skills. And now we’d have dog hair all over all my work clothes aka sweatpants. I just don’t know – those sweatpants are the ultimate. Priorities, you know?
Plus, is our house even big enough for a dog? It’s so teeny tiny. Are there small dogs that are really well behaved that have regular hair (NO HAIRLESS DOGS) that never-ever shed that are still actually, um, cute? WILL YOU TELL ME ALL OF THEM?
I don’t know, it’s like I just need to eat an XL chopped chicken sesame noodle bowl and get some clarity right now.
Be right back.
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (I use a fresh paste)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- 2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 ounces soba noodles
- 1 cucumber (can swap for other veggies, too)
- 3 large carrots
- 1 handful cilantro
- Sauce: In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the sesame sauce except the sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. Pulse until mostly smooth; stir in sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.
- Noodles: Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Chicken: Heat a large skillet with a little oil over medium heat. Cut the chicken breasts in half if they are large. Add the chicken; sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Saute until barely golden brown on the outside. Add about a third of the sesame sauce to the chicken with a little water to thin it out. It might splatter, so turn down the heat at this point and have a lid ready. Let the chicken finish cooking in the sauce for a few minutes. Remove the chicken from heat, let cool slightly, and shred.
- Veggies: Chop the veggies super-finely or put them in the food processor and get them all minced up. Drain out any excess moisture.
- Toss everything together and serve hot or cold.