Sesame Noodles with Chicken (or not)

I have noticed, after many years of subscribing to (ahem) many cooking magazines that there seems to be recurrent themes that run throughout the year. You can count on the BBQ issues in your mailbox in late June or early July and the Thanksgiving dishes are on display in October (for which we Canadians are truly thankful). April delivers delicate dishes with things like pea tendrils and salmon fillets and November’s issues are guaranteed to include some very impressive holiday desserts. January has a theme too; it’s all about the new. New year, new trends, new ingredients, and so on. There is also a heavy dose of atonement for all of the over-indulging you did over the holidays, but that is sort of a separate post, isn’t it?

Sesame Noodles (with Chicken)

Normally, I don’t pay too much attention to their proclamations (Pie is the new cupcake…pass it on!) but there is one trend that I feel is worth paying attention to; flexitarianism. Wikipedia describes it very succinctly with this definition; “a term used to describe diets that are not vegetarian but include less meat than typical diets”. Many cooking magazines have been exercising this concept by showcasing dishes that are wonderful with/without meat. This is one of those dishes…just as great with or without the chicken. Be on the cutting edge, and try it out both ways.

Sesame Noodles (with Chicken)
adapted from Gourmet Magazine

  • 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (optional)
  • 1 bell pepper (pick your favourite colour)
  • 1 bunch of scallions, green and white parts chopped and separated
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil

Sesame Sauce (can also be used for sate….omit the water)

  • 1/2 c smooth peanut butter (or you can try tahini, if you would like)
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp cooking sherry (or you can use red wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 c brown sugar
  • 1 Tbps sesame oil
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1 package of spaghetti
  • handful of toasted sesame seeds

1) Put on a pot of water to boil your spaghetti in. Cook according to the directions.

2) Toss all the ingredients for the sesame sauce into a blender and give it a good whir. The sauce should be smooth. If you feel it is too thick, feel free to add a bit more warm water until it reaches the consistency you prefer.

2) If you are going for the carnivorous option, heat up the sesame oil in a pan. Once it is hot, add your chicken, bell peppers and white parts of the scallions. Saute until the chicken is cooked through, stirring frequently enough that your veggies don’t brown too much. Set aside

4) In a large bowl, add about half of the sauce to the bottom. Add the spaghetti and the chicken/vegetables to the bowl. Add the rest of the sauce and give a really good stir to. Top with the green bits of the scallions and the toatsted sesame seeds! Can be served hot or, equally as delicious, at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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