I have to admit, when this Asian Chicken and Coconut Curry Noodle Salad is on the dinner menu, I’m excited all day, just thinking about it. It’s got all the flavors and textures that I love; sweet, salty, spicy, crunchy, fresh, crisp and just plain old crazy-delicious!
I used butter lettuce this time but I’ve also made it with kale, arugula and green leaf lettuce, all wonderful substitutions. Some of the other ingredients can be varied as well. Steak or shrimp could be exchanged for the chicken and mango or peaches would be wonderful in lieu of nectarines.
Don’t cheat though on the Asian Honey-Sesame Salad Dressing or the Coconut Curry Noodles. They’re what take this amazing salad right over the top. I posted the salad dressing recipe last week and there’s always a jar of the yummy stuff stashed in my refrigerator as it goes well with so many ingredients.
Coconut Curry Noodles? Yup, and they’re super simple to throw together. While you’re boiling water for the pasta, throw some coconut milk and a scoop of green curry paste in a saucepan. Bring it to a simmer and cook until it’s reduced in half. By the time your pasta’s done, the sauce will be thick, fragrant and ready to combine with noodles. The sweet/spicy sauce will be absorbed by the noodles and you’ll find yourself snitching one little delicious taste after another. (I don’t know this from personal experience, nope……….)
Much of the salad can be done ahead of time making it a perfect, healthy dinner for busy evenings. Want to be excited all day about dinner? Put this Asian Chicken and Coconut Curry Noodle Salad on your menu. And if there’s an extra chair at your table, save it for me!
P.S. See the pretty green avocados in my salad? I received the nicest package on my doorstep last week; a big box from the kind folks at The California Avocado Commission – I’ve been using the beautiful avocados for breakfast lunch and dinner and this salad seemed to be just begging for them – thanks CAC!
- Ingredients for the coconut curry noodles:
- ¾ cup light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon green curry paste
- 8 ounces angel hair pasta
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- Ingredients for the salad:
- 6 cups Bib or butter lettuce, field greens, green leaf lettuce, arugula, kale or spinach would also work well
- diced cooked chicken breast, grilled chicken breast or rotisserie chicken works well
- 2 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
- 3 medium nectarines , diced (you could also use mangos if nectarines are not available)
- Asian Honey-Sesame Salad Dressing
- ½ cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- fresh basil leaves, chopped if large
- Combine coconut milk and curry paste in a medium size pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until reduced by one half. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and angel hair pasta. Stirring frequently, cook for 3-4 minutes or until noodles are al dente.
- Once noodles are cooked, drain well and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss with 2 forks to coat pasta with oil. Transfer to a medium size bowl and add the coconut milk/curry mixture. Toss again with forks till noodles are coated then cover lightly with plastic wrap and set aside. Allow to sit for 30 minutes before serving for pasta to absorb liquid. Taste and add a pinch of sea salt if needed.
- Place lettuce on a large platter or divide between 6 large salad bowls or plates. Arrange nectarines, chicken, avocado and pasta in rows on top of lettuce. Drizzle lightly with the Asian Honey-Sesame Salad Dressing then scatter the chopped peanuts and fresh basil over the top. Pass extra dressing at the table.