A couple of our friends – the friend who introduced me to Thai food (thank you forever), and her husband, to be exact – make this recipe often and highly recommended it to us. So I tried it, but could not resist making a few modifications. Perhaps if I hadn’t made those modifications, Sesame Chicken with Rice Noodles and Bell Peppers would be firmly lodged on our “favorite meals” list.
Bygones, bygones… It looked delicious, it smelled delicious, and it was pretty good. It just didn’t have that extra WOW. I think we compare every slightly Asian dish we have to our ultimate favorite, Chicken Pad Thai (which maybe, just maybe, I’ll share with you one day…). Very few dishes can stand up to that!
I grilled my own chicken instead of buying packaged grilled chicken. I used rice sticks instead of udon noodles (which our grocery store didn’t have) or spaghetti. I heated the rice sticks after soaking them, and also heated the bell peppers and chicken with them. It just didn’t seem right to serve cold chicken strips and raw bell peppers on top of our noodles!
This dish does have several points in its favor – it’s high in protein, has lots of vitamin C from the peppers, and you get a ton of flavor without a huge, negative caloric impact. And the marinade for the chicken strips? It smells divine. I think I’ll use it down the road, to marinate chicken breasts and then grill them. Served with sugar snap or snow peas and sauteed carrots with just a few crispy wontons, I think we’d be in heaven.
It wasn’t a top pick for either of us, but I think this recipe is worth trying. Learn from my mistakes. Try following following the instructions more closely! Here’s a link to the original recipe, from Better Homes and Gardens; it’s also shown below. And remember, although we didn’t love it, our friends sure do!
Sesame Chicken with Noodles
Makes 6 servings
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Asian garlic-chili sauce
12 ounces refrigerated grilled chicken breast strips
12 ounces dried udon noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 medium yellow, red and/or orange sweet peppers, cut in bite-size strips
1. In medium bowl stir together vinegar, green onions, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic-chili sauce. Add chicken; stir to coat. Set aside to allow flavors to meld.
2. Meanwhile, in large saucepan cook noodles in boiling water about 8 minutes until just tender. Drain noodles well and return to saucepan. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Add chicken mixture and toss to combine.
3. Transfer to bowls. Top each with pepper strips and cilantro. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition Info Per Serving
- Calories 391
- Protein 21 g
- Carbohydrate 51 g
- Fat 11 g
- Dietary Fiber 4 g