Smoked Chicken Noodle Salad with Lychees and Sesame Seeds

I’m in the mood for nice light lunches… errrr… brunches, especially since it is the weekend.

What else can you do when its blazing hot outside and the rain clouds are nowhere in sight, but to make yourself a pitcher-full of margaritas or pour out a nice cold beer, pop a movie into the DVD and eat something light and tasty.

I was thinking salad… a noodle salad. Now I must say that I prefer my noodle salads cold rather than hot, especially when the temperature outside is hovering dangerously close to the 40° C mark… and when lychees are in season.

Oh yeah… you heard me right. Lychees… yummm

I had contemplated keeping the salad vegetarian, but then a rather delicious breast of smoked chicken called out to me and begged to be added. And I couldn’t refuse. Tossing in a plump but rather spicy green chilli, which I deseeded.

Here’s the list of ingredients for this super-delicious salad –

150gms smoked chicken breast (sliced thin)

2 medium to large tomatoes (remove the seeds and the pulpy insides)

7 – 8 lychees (remove the seeds and tear into halves or quarters depending on the size of the lychees)

1 medium spring onion – sliced fine

1 large chilli (deseeded and sliced)

2 teaspoons white sesame seeds + extra for topping

1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds (for topping)

80 – 100gms noodles (precook the noodles till just done –  i.e. boil, drain and then toss them in a tablespoon of sesame oil and a few spring onion greens)

4 – 5 small cloves of garlic (minced)

For the dressing you’ll need –

1 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon chilli soy

 1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

 pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon demerara sugar

pinch of white pepper powder

Whisk the ingredients for the dressing and chill for 10 – 15 minutes before using.

Combine all the elements of the salad except for the noodles and the dressing.

Just before plating up, mix in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the dressing into the chicken salad and toss. Plate up the noodles. Spoon over the smoked chicken salad, drizzle over some more of the dressing and sprinkle on 1 – 1 1/12 teaspoons of white and black sesame seeds.

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O is for Oodles of Sesame Noodles and Whiskey Hoisin Meatballs

So I’ve been malingering and having a good time at it.

I love to laze. My mother’s rants of an idle mind being a devil’s workshop all through my childhood having paid rich dividend, I’m taking care of that department quite well. I’m constantly thinking… of what to do next, or what to cook or bake. Or what to read, or write, or what’s next on my ‘to learn’ list.

Yeah… my mind’s never idle Ma, even if the rest of me chooses to take the odd break 😉

So with the Liebster Award under my blogger-belt, and passed on to other fascinating bloggers, I still had dinner to make, a good book to read, ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ to watch, and a couple of lines to add to ‘the novel’ on the write.

First things first I suppose and this is it.

Whiskey Hoisin Meatballs with Sesame Noodles.

I’ve always said that ‘Everything Tastes Better with Booze!’ And it’s something I’ll maintain… and what’s better than cooking in it. Think of all that flavour coming through… as the alcohol slowly seeps into the meat, with the rest of the sauces, mingling and tingling… and then you heat it all up… and the potency miraculously lifts up and away. And all you’re left with is pure taste without the kick.

Hic!

Okay, so all of it didn’t quite lift off into the heavens, but it’s okay if just that wee bit hangs on… to remind you that you put in a cupful of the good stuff.

So before you get to the meat, you’ll need to put together the marinade, which is basically – 4 heaped tablespoons Hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon dark soy, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon white pepper powder, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, pinch of sugar, a teaspoon of ginger-garlic powder and a cup of Jack Daniels. And believe me when I say that Jack Daniels and Hoisin sauce are a match made in epicurean heaven.

Put the marinade in a bottle, cap it shut, give it a good shake, and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

You’ll also need 2 spring onions and just the green of a third. All chopped fine and reserved for later.

For the meatballs, I used about 320gms of minced beef (Ah well, that’s how I portioned it earlier. You know how I am with weighing-scales). You can use chicken, or pork, or a combination of beef and pork instead of the beef.

Marinade the mince with –

1 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper

pinch of salt (the marinade has enough salt)

1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/4 cup fried onions (You’ll need 2 medium onions, chopped fine and fried till it just caramelises)

1 teaspoon cumin (toasted and ground)

1 teaspoon ginger-garlic powder

2 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander

1 spring onion green (chopped fine)

6 tablespoons Marinade

1 egg

Combine the meat and the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate for about an hour. Form the meat into balls and bake, covered, in a 200 degrees C oven for 30 minutes till cooked through.

Meanwhile, sauté two spring onions (reserve some of the green) in two tablespoons sesame oil. Once the onions turn translucent, add in the rest of the marinade, cover and cook on a really low flame for 10 minutes. Then add in the baked meatballs, cover and cook for 40 minutes to an hour, occasionally turning them around to ensure that the sauce permeates through the meat (if required you may add in a splash of whiskey :-)).

I served the meatballs on a bed of noodles (a 200 gm pack, boiled in salted water and drained) tossed in coriander (just a sprinkling), 2 tablespoons sesame oil, and 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds. Finished off with a sprinkling of spring onion greens.

I hope Aleksandr Orlov (and Darren Walsh) won’t mind if I say… Simples!

It really is!