I LOVE Asian and Asian-inspired food. Maybe it comes from growing up with a buffet nearby and taking full advantage of all-you-can-eat. It’s more likely that my love of this cuisine comes from its subtle mix of spices and nutty sauces, something that I’ve definitely grown to appreciate. I first discovered and fell in love with satay and our neighborhood Thai restaurant. They also boasted a sweet and sour chicken/cashew stir fry that was to die for. Chicken satay makes good use of peanut butter, and this noodle bowl will do the same with cashews. It’s fresh and different, yet very simple to make.
Rice noodle bowls with cashew ginger sauce and poached chicken
Adapted from Big Girls Small Kitchen
2 chicken breasts
1 bouillon cube
1 1 inch piece of ginger
1 handful of lemon verbena leaves
1 handful of basil leaves
3/4 C cashews
3 cloves of garlic
1 T sesame paste (tahini)
1/4 C vegetable oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sugar
1-2 T butter
Begin by making your sauce. Sautée the cashews, garlic and ginger over medium heat until fragrant. Purée with the sesame paste, drizzling in the vegetable oil and season with salt and cayenne pepper.
Heat the bouillon cube in a casserole full of water. Meanwhile, chop the chicken into regular-sized strips. Once the water is boiling, add the verbena, basil and chicken and poach until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes depending on the size of your strips. Discard the herbs and season the chicken with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, if desired. Keep warm.
Prepare the rice noodles according to the package directions.
Heat the butter in a medium-sized pan over medium heat and sautée your mushrooms. Set aside. In the same pan, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and sautée quickly, sprinkling with sugar, for about 1 minute per cut side. Once finished, drizzle with soy sauce and set aside. Thinly julienne the cucumber and prepare your noodle bowls.
In a large bowl, add noodles and toss to coat with the sauce. Top with poached chicken, tomato quarters, sautéed mushrooms and cucumbers. Eat immediately!