Noodle Salad with Poached Chicken and Peanut-Lime Dressing

Ingredients for Noodle Salad with Poached Chicken and Peanut-Lime Dressing

I’m going going to lie to you: this noodle salad has a few steps and a fairly long ingredient list. But, besides the fact that it’s totally worth it, this is also really three recipes in one. The peanut-lime dressing is one of my favorites, and is excellent over any salad. I like to toss it with shredded cabbage to bring to potlucks. If you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just short on time you can skip the chicken all together and serve the noodle salad as is, or with some cubed tofu mixed in.Alternately, you can skip the noodles all together and serve the poached chicken with anything – this is an easy, healthy, flavorful way of preparing chicken. You can also turn the poaching liquid into a broth – I did, and had a meal of if the next day. For a one pot meal, you can serve it with the chicken. Easy peasy. I love how many meals you can get out of this one recipe!

Noodle Salad with Poached Chicken and Peanut-Lime Dressing

But before you go playing around too much, I really do recommend all the components together. It’s a light yet filling meal that’s packed with flavor. Since it’s a noodle salad, it can be served at any temperature so can be made ahead. It’s a great side or main dish, and the rice noodles make it gluten free.

Noodle Salad with Poached Chicken and Peanut-Lime Dressing

5.0 from 2 reviews
Noodle Salad with Poached Chicken and Peanut-Lime Dressing
Prep Time
Cook Time
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Don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list. It all comes together in under an hour, and besides, this is really three recipes in one that can be mixed and matched with countless other meals.
Recipe Type: Entree, Salad, Side
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Poached Chicken:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised or 8 lemongrass leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
Noodle Salad:
  • 6 ounces (170 g) thin rice noodles
  • 2 carrots, coarsely shredded
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts
For the Poached Chicken:
  1. Fill a large, deep pan with water and add the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, lemongrass, salt and pepper and bring to a rolling simmer over medium heat.
  2. Add the chicken breasts and bring the liquid back to a boil. Cook for a few minutes, then remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid with a slotted spoon and set aside. Let cool and then shred with two forks. (Don’t throw that liquid out! You’ve now got a beautiful broth – cover and bring to a rolling boil for at least 5 minutes (just in case) then strain and serve. Add chicken or any veggies you like.)
For the Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette:
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until fully combined and smooth. Set aside (can be made a few days in advance and stored in the refrigerator).
For the Noodle Salad:
  1. Meanwhile, put the rice noodles in a large heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Allow to soak for 10 minutes, until the noodles are tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Return to the bowl.
  2. Add the carrots, cilantro, mint, scallions, peanuts, shredded chicken, and half the peanut-lime vinaigrette and toss (alternately, substitute 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken or sliced tofu, raw or cooked). Taste and add more vinaigrette as needed.
Gluten free (be sure to confirm packaging on ingredients like soy sauce)

Kosher meat if you omit the fish sauce

Parve, Vegan and Vegetarian if you omit the chicken and fish sauce



14 thoughts on “Noodle Salad with Poached Chicken and Peanut-Lime Dressing

  1. Delishhh

    This is a type of dish i could eat three times a day. First i love the Thai flavors it is so refreshing but this is just my type of food. Remind me of warm Thailand and awesome beaches. I would eat this 3 times a day. . .YUM.

  2. Ilke

    Beautifully done. Now I know what to do with chicken breast. We never cook it anymore since it turns dry and it must be the way I cook it. I will try poaching next time. Though I am skeptical about few minutes boiling time. Does it really get done in 15 min sitting in the water? I guess I should try and see 🙂

    • Katherine

      Thanks Ilke! I know, I’m always surprised that this method works, but it produces juicy, tender, fully cooked chicken. However, if you’re nervous you can also poach it in simmering (not boiling) water without turning off the heat. There are two schools of thought on poaching chicken, and this is one of them. Let me know how yours turns out if you do try it!

  3. SallyBR

    Katherine, I love this type of recipe! I do poached chicken breast more or less as you do, but lately I’ve been poaching it in green tea and it’s quite an amazing twist… I really like it that way. I also add ginger and a touch of soy.

    Lemongrass is a great addition, I will make sure to add next time I make it.

  4. Hannah

    Lovely recipes, Katherine! I love how they are packed with such fresh flavors and I would happily drizzle this vinaigrette on just about anything. I like your poaching method – this is how I poach and hard boil eggs. Can’t wait to try chicken breasts!

  5. Roz

    What an EXTRAORDINARY recipe, Katherine. I don’t mind the long list of ingredients at all, especially when every one of them contributes to the perfect flavor combination! This is a keeper and I look forward to preparing it soon! I hope that you have a LOVELY and happy Thanksgiving!

    Big hugs,

  6. kitchenriffs

    Nice recipe! The chicken poaching method reminds me of one Jeff Smith did years ago – I’d have to look up the details, but essentially it’s put a whole chicken in a pot, bring to a boil, then cover and remove from the heat for 45 minutes. Perfectly poached chicken! Sounds weird, but it works. Anyway, great flavors in this – thanks.

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