This salad looks great on a huge platter with all the ingredients piled up – let everyone build their own salad to their liking. It can also be used as part of a cocktail buffet when you use the lettuce leaves as cups and then can be eaten by hand.
Rice Noodle and Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce
2 carrots, peeled and very thinly julienned (or coarsely shredded)
1 English cucumber (wrapped in cellophane – no need to peel) in Julienne strips
1 red pepper, cored and seeded, cut in thin strips
1 ripe mango cut in thin strips
1 bunch cilantro washed and leaves picked from the stems
1 head Bibb lettuce*, washed and leaves separated
1 6 ounce package thin rice noodles, cooked according to package
2 teaspoons canola oil
4 cups cooked chicken, cut in bite size chunks
*Bibb lettuce is often grown hydroponically sold in plastic clam shells
Combine the following and stir until well combined.
1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (don’t use old-fashion or freshly ground – nothing highbrow)
½ cup warm water – more or less depending on how thick you want the sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 limes – juice of and zest
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Cook the rice noodles according to the package. When they are just tender, drain and toss with the canola oil to prevent sticking. Season the noodles with salt to taste. Let them come to room temperature.
Prepare the carrots, cucumber, red pepper, mango, cilantro, lettuce and chicken and set aside in serving bowls
To serve you have two options: To compose the salad start with a few lettuce leaves, then the rice noodles and chicken and top with vegetables, or use a lettuce leaf as a cup holding the noodles, chicken and toppings – Serve both options with the peanut sauce