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Recipe by Jim Pearson, Sous Chef, Rice

I love Asian food. All types, especially Thai, such as seafood and pho. I love spice. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I was always surrounded by Asian foods. And seafood. Very fresh seafood. Lots of salmon and shellfish. We eat pretty hearty foods up there. Not necessarily comfort food, but not not comfort food either. Now I live in Hillcrest and there’s a lot of good food up here. Usually I don’t cook much at home. I like to see what’s out there and what other people are making.

I do cook for my two roommates sometimes. Well, a lot of times, actually. I stick to seafood dishes like halibut, tuna, and salmon. I always do some green vegetables too. I love soba noodles. This soba noodle salad is a really simple dish made with chicken, peppers, green onions, and almonds. It’s good any day of the week, any meal of the day.

INGREDIENTS

Dressing:

1 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. mirin, or rice wine
1/4 c. hoisin
1 tbsp. garlic, fresh chopped
1 tbsp. ginger, fresh chopped
6 oz. peach nectar
6 oz. dark sesame oil

Salad:

8 oz. chicken breast cut into strips
1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
1 small carrot, julienned
3 green onions cut on a bias
1/2 c. peeled water chestnuts, sliced
1/4 c. almonds, sliced and toasted
1 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
2 tsp. salt
8 oz. fresh uncooked soba noodles
pinch of red chili flakes (optional)

HOW TO DO IT

To make the dressing, blend or whisk soy, mirin, hoisin, ginger, garlic, and peach nectar in a 1 qt. mixing bowl. Slowly add the sesame oil until dressing is an even, smooth consistency.

Marinade the chicken breast in one cup of the dressing for 30 minutes in refrigerator. Thinly slice (julienne) the bell pepper and carrots and slice the onions and water chestnuts. Toast the sliced almonds and sesame seeds in a small pan over medium heat, watching carefully so they don’t burn.

Then grill or sear chicken in a sauté pan on high heat. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, approximately 10 minutes. Brush with more dressing and cool.

In a 2 qt. saucepan, bring 1 qt. of water to a boil. Add 2 tsp. salt. Place fresh soba noodles in water until cooked, approximately 4-6 minutes or less. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water so the noodles don’t stick together.

In a mixing bowl toss the noodles, vegetables, and dressing together. Place in a serving dish and top with the chicken, almonds, and sesame seeds.

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