Friday, June 3, 2011

Seasonal Food Friday - Week Six

Welcome to the sixth installment of Seasonal Food Friday!  This weeks featured recipe is for Asian Chicken and Noodle Salad. There are probably a thousand variations out there for this salad, but that's the beauty of a dish like this. It's so versatile that you can make it 50 times and never have it exactly the same way twice!
Aside from the fact that it's delicious, it's THE best way to get loads of nutritious veggies into your kids without their knowledge.  Shhh.... They'll have no idea that all those super delish noodles and that moist, tender chicken are just part of this vegetable packed  meal in a bowl.  You can also add juicy mandarin oranges or plump green grapes and they'll think you've lost your mind and given them a forbidden treat, instead of a hearty and healthy meal.  After all, June is National Fruit and Vegetable Month!

The traditional/original recipe calls for the packaged ramen style noodles and I made it this way for many years, but as time went by and the daughter-child eventually flew away from the nest, I no longer had them in the house on a regular basis. That's when I realized (took me long enough!) that I could use any old pasta that I wanted to!  Pasta is one staple that I always have plenty of on hand.  Different styles of Asian noodles happen to be part of that selection. 

I generally use Soba Noodles for this salad.  They're made from buckwheat flour and are high in fiber and jam packed with essential amino acids and antioxidants.  More importantly... They're delicious! I just break them in half or in thirds before cooking them to keep things bite-sized. If you don't have ramen or soba noodles on hand, linguine, fettuccine or any long or even "cut" pasta you have on hand will be just fine.

Now, what would you say was the most versatile component of this salad?  Yep... you guessed it. The Veggies! I change up the vegetables that I use based on availability, either here in my kitchen or from the Farmer's Market or grocery store.  In the original recipe the ingredients for the dressing call for the contents of two of the seasoning packets from the noodle packages. Since I don't really use the ramen packs anymore, I've come up with my own blend of seasonings that come close to the "Oriental" flavor packets. I'll post that for you below the salad recipe. You can also substitute almost any meat or seafood for the chicken, or go completely "meatless" if you're a vegetarian or vegan.

Asian Chicken and Noodle Salad
(aka Chinese Chicken Salad)

  • 4 Pkgs Oriental Flavor Ramen Noodles, cooked and drained
  • 4 Stalks Celery, chopped
  • 8 Scallions, chopped
  • 2 Cups Mixed Sweet Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 2 Cups Chicken, cooked and cubed or shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Real Mayonnaise (no Miracle Whip, please)
  • 4 Tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 4 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Packets Oriental Flavor Seasoning (or 1/2 recipe of the homemade mix**)
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper or Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Cook noodles in boiling, salted water. (only 3-4 minutes for the ramen style) Drain and set aside to cool. In a small mixing bowl, combine Mayo, Soy Sauce, Lemon Juice and the seasoning packets from 2 of the Noodle packages (or recommended amount of the homemade**). In a large mixing bowl, gently toss Bell Peppers, Chicken, Scallions and Celery with the cooled Noodles. Add the dressing to the bowl and carefully mix it into the salad so that the Noodles, Chicken and Vegetables are well coated. (be gentle when mixing because the ramen noodles tend to break apart easily)  Place the salad in a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  (Serves 4 - 6)

**Homemade "Oriental" Seasoning
    (equals 4 Seasoning Packets)
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Five Spice Powder (available in the majority of grocery chains)
  • 1 Pkt Chicken Bouillon Granules (or 1 Tsp)
  • 1/2 Tsp Sugar

Some of the additions and changes that I make are:
In place of the 2 cups called for in the basic recipe, I add a total of 3 cups of fresh, coarsely chopped vegetables, including: some of the originally called for bell pepper, plus one or more of the following: carrots, green or red cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower florets, seeded cucumber, fresh green beans, fresh asparagus, sugar snap peas, fresh corn from the cob, water chestnuts, fresh bean or pea sprouts. AND, fruits such as mandarin oranges, sliced green grapes, chopped fresh pears, lychee fruit.

I've substituted many protein options for the chicken, including: cooked shrimp, lump crab meat, shredded pork, thinly sliced steak, toasted almonds, avocado, hard boiled eggs, steamed and cooled edamame.

I really hope that you give this delicious salad a try and that you use the ingredients that best suit the needs and appetites of the people you're cooking for!  I'd love to hear your version of it!

I'm linking up with:

hosted by Designs by Gollum (here)


  1. That looks SO amazing!!! Bright, colorful, delicious and yet still good for you! And I love the line about "REAL" mayonnaise -- a girl after my own heart ... :)

  2. Nice to meet you on the blog hop. I will be your newest follower once I post this comment (hope you follow me back). This recipe looks great and you blog itself is super! I look forward to more.

  3. Yum! I have had similar salads and loved them. I've tried my own version (with a bag of broccoli slaw) but I shall have to try this as well. Thanks.


  4. That looks totally amazing and I am going to have to give this one a try! Sounds like a perfect light meal for summer time! Thanks for sharing!~M

  5. hey found your blog at the "finding friends blog hop"! Just doing a little self promotion cuz we are cool like that ;) so be sure to come check out our el blogo if youd like :) ( WE FOLLOW BACK! :) just leave a comment with your url address! have a great day!

  6. Hello there, Mrs. B.

    It is a pleasure to meet you! Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving your kind remarks.

    I must say you are quite the cook! I loved that your recipe provided lots of "fun facts" in addition to the ingredients and directions. National Fruits and Veggies month, huh?!!! My girl would be all over the mandarin oranges and grapes in this one.

    Chinese Noodle Salad is one of my favorite noodle salads to sample, but can you believe that I've never prepared it myself? I might have to give your recipe a try!

    Looking forward to getting to know you better!


  7. I love asian food!!

    I think I have to try this one...

  8. This looks so yummy! Thank you for sharing!

    I'm a new follower from the weekend hop, thank you for co-hosting. Would love it if you'd stop by my blog and give me a follow :)

  9. Looks good! I do like a dab of the dreaded Miracle Whip in mine along with Hellmans mayo, just gives it a liitle zing.
    Here from foodie Friday, stop by sometime!

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Hi - I found you at Foodie Friday and have enjoyed browsing your blog. Asian Chicken Salad is one of my favorites because it is so versatile. Very nice photos btw.

  12. Mary: I am a bit of a stickler for the real stuff! It's not that I have anything against Miracle Whip or other "salad dressings". (as it says on the label) They're great for coleslaw and other dishes where you want a bit of sweetness.

    Meryl: Hi! Lovely to meet you too!Thanks for stopping by... I'll be around to visit soon!

    VB: Oooh yumm! Using the slaw sounds great! I'll have to give it a try the next time. Thanks for the tip!

    MandM: You betchya! It really is a fantastic summer supper and it makes a great main dish salad for "ladies who lunch" too!

    Christa: Hi! Nice to meet you and thanks so much for following! I'll be by to return the favor!

    Valerie: It's a true pleasure to meet you too! I think this is a great dish to kind of "fix up" as you like. The number of ingredients that you can mix and match are limited only to your family's tastes. I do hope you give it a try. If you do, please stop over and let me know!

    mominrome: It might be a nice way to get in all those veggies for little Giulia. Not much longer to go! I'm so excited for you! (just be careful with the cabbages or broccoli type veg... Guilia might not like them as much as mommy!)

    Mommy Digger: Hi! Thanks for coming by and following! I look forward to stopping over to visit you!

    Kathleen: LOL! That's perfectly OK.. I really don't dislike MW, it's just that I have certain things I use it for and then others that I tend to stick to the Hellman's. It's all about your tastes! Blame it on my OCD I do! LOL I'll definitely be by soon!

    Cathy: Thank you! I'm so glad you stopped by. I'll be sure to pop in and visit you too! (I love the name of your blog!)

  13. You are posting so many delicious looking recipes!!! I'm going to have to write some of these down for my mom, too!

  14. I will definitely try this. Looks delicious! I love Asian salads.

    I'm your newest follower from the "Over 40" blog hop!
    Have a great week!


I love comments! I read every one and they truly make my day! I no longer allow anonymous comments due to increases in spam, etc. SUBSCRIBE to the COMMENTS on this post (below) to get a notice of my reply via email! Thanks for stopping by and for absolutely making my day! XOXO Mary

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