Chinese Noodle Salad with Spicy Sesame Dressing
Spicy Sesame Dressing
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 scallions, white and green parts sliced separately
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 small dried chili peppers, preferably Asian, finely cut with scissors
6 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons tahini
⅔ to 1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
¾ pound fresh or dried Chinese egg noodles or other egg noodles such as fettuccine
Asian sesame oil, to coat
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
¾ cup julienned carrot
¾ cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
¾ cup diced jicama
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Make the sauce: In a saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the white part of the scallions, garlic, ginger, and chilies and cook until the garlic is golden but not brown. Remove from the heat and add the vinegar, soy sauce, tahini, and ⅔ cup chicken stock. Return to the heat and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add more stock. Add the sesame oil and stir well. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
In a large pot, bring at least 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the noodles, stir to separate the strands, and cook until al dente. If the noodles are fresh, they will cook very quickly. Check for doneness frequently. If the noodles are dried, they will take longer. When the noodles are al dente, drain and immediately rinse them with cold water. Drain again thoroughly, then place them in a bowl and toss with a bit of sesame oil to coat. Let cool to room temperature or cover and chill.
In a large bowl, combine the noodles with the chicken, carrot, cucumber, and jicama. Add the sauce and toss well, gently turning all the noodles so that they are covered evenly. Transfer to a platter and top with sesame seeds and the greens of the scallions.