From America's Test Kitchen Season 4: Asian Noodles
Cold noodles are underrated. Not as humble as they appear, these toothsome noodles tossed with shreds of tender chicken and fresh sesame sauce can be addicting if made properly. For this recipe, we set out to eliminate sticky noodles, gloppy sauce, and lackluster flavors. We found that rinsing and tossing the noodles (either fresh Chinese noodles or dried spaghetti) with a little sesame oil after cooking prevents a rubbery texture and washes away much of their sticky starch. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts were the obvious choice for easy cooking and shredding, and broiling the meat helped retain the chicken’s moisture and flavor. And for an authentic sauce, a combination of chunky peanut butter and freshly ground toasted sesame seeds was the best substitute for Asian sesame paste. After adding fresh garlic and ginger, as well as soy sauce, rice vinegar, hot sauce, and brown sugar, we achieved the perfect texture by thinning out the sauce with hot water.
Serves 4 to 6
We prefer the flavor and texture of chunky peanut butter in the sauce; in particular, we like conventional chunky peanut butter because it tends to be sweeter than natural or old-fashioned versions.