The weather here in Nashville has been a bit bizarre recently- August is normally pretty scorching hot and humid – but not this one. Much of the month felt like October, our most pleasant month of the year. As we enter into September, same thing. The cool, crisp mornings totally remind me of the San Diego coast, so believe me, I’m not complaining!

Today’s cold dish recipe was created way back when it was so hot and muggy outside that nothing warm sounded appetizing to me. Do you remember those days? I’m not asking for them back again, but just in case we get a few more, these noodles will be making a repeat appearance at my house. Actually, hot or cool outside, it’ll be back soon since it completely satisfies those intense peanut sauce cravings I often get….

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Asian Noodles with Chicken and Spicy Peanut Sauce

Serves 4. Adapted from Bitten by Mark Bittman.

Ingredients:

8 oz boneless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 medium cucumber, sliced 1/4 inch thick, then cut into matchsticks
1 cup shredded carrots
12 oz long pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti because that's what I had, but you could use linguine or chinese noodles)
2 Tbsp sesame oil + splash
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sriracha chile sauce
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (While the water is boiling, you can cut up your cucumbers) Add noodles and cook until barely tender, about 6-8 minutes. While noodles are cooking, in a medium bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp of sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut butter, sugar, ginger, garlic, sriracha, and black pepper.

When pasta is done, drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Toss with a splash of sesame oil. Add shredded chicken, cucumbers, and carrots to noodles.
Pour the sauce over the noodle mixture and toss. Add salt to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with roasted peanuts and cilantro.

If you’re only cooking for two like I am, you’ll have leftovers for the next day’s lunch. The noodles might start to stick together a bit, but I’ve found that if you squeeze a little fresh lime juice on them, it loosens them up and adds a kick of flavor. Enjoy!

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