Recently my brother Mark and his wife Lisa showed up at my house with a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Rotisserie chicken usually means leftover chicken, and I was very happy I had leftovers to inspire me to try this recipe, because I loved the savory and spicy combination of rice vinegar, soy sauce, fresh ginger, Thai chili garlic paste, and sesame oil in these Spicy Whole Wheat Sesame Noodles with Chicken, Green Onions, and Cilantro.
The first time I made this I followed the recipe and used a whole pound of spaghetti, which made an enormous pot of noodles. My friend Margarethe and her daughter Martina stopped by and I shared the leftovers with them, but the next day when I ate my own share of noodle leftovers I decided most of the flavor was absorbed by the noodles, and it wasn’t nearly as good leftover as it was freshly made. The next time I made it, I cut the original recipe in half, and that’s the one I’m sharing here.
This recipe has just a little grating of ginger root, mixing, and chopping to do while the noodles are cooking. It’s easy enough to cook in about 20 minutes, and once you taste it, you’ll want to make this whenever you have leftover chicken!
Grated fresh ginger root in the sauce for the noodles is one thing that creates a lot of flavor here, although you could probably get by with ginger puree from a jar. (Don’t even think about using dried ginger though.)
Mix together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, vegetable oil, grated ginger, Thai chili-garlic paste (or Sriracha), and sesame oil while the pasta water is coming to a boil.
While the whole wheat spaghetti is cooking, chop the chicken in small pieces, then chop one cup of sliced green onion and 1/2 cup chopped cilantro. (The first time I made this I didn’t have the full amount of green onions, but it was much better the second time with plenty of green onions. which make a delightful crunch with the noodles.)
When the noodles are done (exactly 9 minutes for the brand of whole wheat spaghetti I use), drain them in a colander placed in the sink, then put the noodles back into the pan you cooked the pasta in and add the chicken.
Pour in the sauce mixture and toss well enough that noodles and chicken are well-coated with sauce.
Then add the sliced green onions and chopped cilantro and toss just enough to combine. Serve immediately and wait for compliments.
Spicy Whole Wheat Sesame Noodles with Chicken, Green Onions, and Cilantro
(Makes 4 generous servings, adapted slightly from Sesame Chicken Noodle Salad recipe in Bon Appetit March 2003.)
8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti (1/2 package)
salt for pasta water, about 2 tsp.
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 T rice vinegar (don’t use seasoned rice vinegar which contains sugar)
2 1/2 T soy sauce
2 T vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 T Thai Chili Garlic Paste (you could also use Sriracha sauce, use more or less hot sauce to taste)
1 T grated fresh ginger root (could also use ground ginger from a jar, but freshly grated ginger would be more flavorful)
1 T Asian sesame oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt, then break spaghetti noodles in half and add to water. Stir, let it come to a boil again, then cook until noodles are tender but still have a little bite, about 8-9 minutes.
While pasta water is coming to a boil, grate enough fresh ginger to make 1 T, then combine with rice vinegar, soy sauce, vegetable oil, Thai Chili Garlic Paste, and sesame oil.
While the noodles are cooking, chop the chicken into same-size pieces about 1/2 inch square, and slice green onions. Wash cilantro, spin dry or dry with paper towels, and chop enough to make 1/2 cup.
When noodles are cooked but still al dente, drain them into a colander placed in the sink. Put noodles back into pan you cooked them in and add the diced chicken. Pour sauce mixture over chicken and noodles, then toss well enough that noodles and chicken are well-coated with the sauce mixture.
Add chopped green onions and chopped cilantro and toss just enough to combine. Serve immediately. This recipe can easily be doubled, but it doesn’t taste nearly as good after it’s been in the refrigerator overnight, so I’d only make as much as you can eat at one time.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn’t have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Tasty Ideas for Whole Wheat Spaghetti:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)