Asian Chicken Salad with Cellophane Noodles
- 4 1/2 to 5 ounces cellophane noodles (bean threads, available at Asian markets and many supermarkets)
- 4 cups shredded, poached chicken (from about 3 pounds chicken breasts)
- 1 cup finely grated carrot
- 2 cucumbers peeled, seeded, and chopped
- For the dressing:
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried hot red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup coarsely crushed roasted peanuts, or to taste
In a large heatproof bowl pour boiling water to cover over the noodles and let them stand for 10 minutes. Drain the noodles and arrange them on a platter or divide them among 6 plates. In a bowl combine the chicken, the carrot, and the cucumbers.
Make the dressing: Mince and mash the garlic to a paste with the salt. In a blender blend together the soy sauce, the lime juice, the sugar, the peanut butter, the red pepper flakes, and the garlic paste, with the motor running add the oil in a stream, and blend the dressing until it is emulsified.
Pour 1/2 the dressing over the chicken mixture. Toss the salad well, and arrange it in the center of the noodles. The salad may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.
Just before serving top the salad with the peanuts. Serve the remaining dressing separately. Serve the salad at room temperature or chilled.