lunchbox life: thai rice noodle salad

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Another weekend comes to a close, and another week is upon us.  We just found out that our Mercer Bears will face Duke in the NCAA Basketball tournament this Friday, so keep your fingers crossed for a Cinderella story win!

This lunchbox life is similar to the lightened-up pad thai that I posted a few weeks go, but this time I’ve used chicken instead of shrimp and the dish is chilled instead of hot.  Have you ever had a noodle salad at an Asian restaurant?  There are many variations on this theme–sometimes they use sesame oil, sometimes it’s cream-based, but there are usually chilled rice noodles swimming in some sort of tasty goodness.  This dish is bathed in a peanut dressing and is filled out by hearty ribbons of savoy cabbage and crispy sugar snap peas.

And yes–technically this is two pasta salads in a row!  Can you blame me?  Spring is upon us.  In fact, the first official day of spring is Thursday, March 20–yay!

This would be a great simple supper or lunch for company, too!

Thai Noodle Salad

4 oz. rice noodles

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 Tbsp. canola oil

2 garlic cloves, grated

1 tsp. grated ginger

1 small head of savoy cabbage

8 oz. sugar snap peas

for the dressing:

2 Tbsp. crunchy peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

juice of two limes

2 Tbsp. water

Prepare noodles according to package directions, rinse with cold water, and set aside.  Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.  Heat the canola oil, grated garlic, and grated ginger over medium-high heat and add the chicken.  Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, then remove the chicken from the oil and let cool on a paper towel-lined plate.

Rough chop the savoy cabbage and place in a large bowl, then add the sugar snap peas, noodles, and chicken.  Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, then pour the dressing over the salad mixture and, using tongs, mix the salad to combine, then chill overnight or for at least four hours.

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