This Asian Chicken and Rice Noodle Salad is quick, easy and delicious. Perfect for warm evenings when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen or mop your brow. Although this salad may look like it’ll feed a small army, the rice noodles and shredded vegetables are very light, and the sweet, sour, and slightly spicy vinaigrette makes you want to keep eating.
I inadvertently tossed out the fennel fronds so I minced up some fresh chives to use as a garnish instead; plus topped with a smattering of chopped peanuts to add a nice crunch factor. And the grocery store was not carrying Napa cabbage went we went food shopping, therefore we bought a Savoy cabbage that worked well as a replacement. If you want to amp up the spiciness, just add more hot red peppers.
We enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the next day—just make sure to add the peanuts, if using, just before you eat the salad because they do not refrigerate well and loose their crunch.
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 2 fresh long red chiles, stemmed and minced (about 1/4 cup)
- Kosher salt
- 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
- 1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed (fronds reserved), cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Canola oil for the grill
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz. thin rice noodles (vermicelli)
- 4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (from 1/2 large head)
- 1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil; more to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts (our addition, optional)
- Prepare a medium-high (400°F) gas or charcoal grill fire.
- In a large bowl, stir the vinegar, sugar, chiles, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt until the sugar dissolves. Reserve 2 Tbs. dressing in a small bowl. Add the carrots and fennel to the large bowl and toss; set aside.
- Pat the chicken dry and generously season with salt and pepper. Oil the grill grate.
- Grill the chicken, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, and let rest for a couple of minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse briefly under cold running water, and transfer to the large bowl. Add the cabbage and sesame oil, toss well, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and more sesame oil.
- Transfer the salad to a serving platter or plates. Slice the chicken thinly and arrange on top. Drizzle with the reserved dressing, garnish with fennel fronds, and serve.
Recipe by Genevieve Ko