I just read my original Sesame Chicken Noodles post, and yikes! I say yikes for lots of reasons: I wrote things like, “tahini is in hummus, I think?” (Tahini is in hummus). And the photos in that post– yikes.
You can reference the original post, but I am writing a new, updated post on the recipe because this post will actually include the recipe, along with step by step photos that won’t hurt your eyes.
My Favorite Recipe: Umami-esque
This recipe is one of my favorites from Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cookbook, if not my absolute favorite. Aside from her cookbook, it’s one of my favorite recipes, in general, because of its ease + simplicity + and flavor. On average, I probably make this at least once a month. And last year I was definitely making this more than once a month!
The tahini adds depth of flavor and a creamy consistency, and the chili oil and cayenne pepper add the best hint of spice. I always double my use of each. Plus there’s 3 tablespoons of soy sauce in here– can you already imagine these flavors? It’s very umami-esque. (You can read about umami in the previous link, and this one, too, if you’re new to the word umami, like I am).
But the very best part of this recipe is that it’s practically FOOLPROOF and so quick to make. I wouldn’t lie to you.
As I talk about in my original post, some of the ingredients in this recipe were seemingly obscure for me. One of them being tahini. I am writing about this because I don’t want you being put off by any of the ingredients that you may not have, and may not know where they are in the grocery store.
I didn’t have several of the ingredients for this recipe the first time I planned on making it, and I was a little angry with Chrissy T. for making me buy so many things, mainly because I was not confident that I would use these ingredients a second time. Kitchen real estate is presh.
But buy these ingredients, I promise you will use them again and again. (Especially because I am going to share some of my other fave Chrissy T. recipes that include these ingredients).
- Tahini you can usually find in the “ethnic” food aisles of your grocery stores. Start there.
- Sesame oil and chili oil can be found in the Asian foods aisle.
- Red wine vinegar, while not as obscure, can be found with all the other vinegars.
- And peanut oil can be found with all of the other oils.
I remember when I made this recipe last year I was annoyed with Chrissy for making me buy these ingredients, I thought she was showing her true colors as a Gwenyth Paltrow kind of cook, or something. In the event that you may be as uncouth as myself, these little tidbits are for you! xoxo
AND, I really want you to make this recipe. Because you will absolutely love so many things about it!
The Recipe: Three parts
1.Poach the chicken: easy.
Bring salted water to a boil over high heat, and once it reaches its boiling point, remove the pot from the heat and add the chicken. Cover and let sit for about 15 mins. After 15 mins check the chicken for doneness by cutting into the middle, if it’s still a little pink you can return it to the water for another 2-3 minutes, covered.
2. Cook the noodles: easy peasy.
Simultaneously while the chicken is cooking you can bring salted water to a boil in a separate pot. Once it reaches its boiling point add the noodles, and cook to al dente according to it’s package instructions.
In Chrissy’s recipe she does this a little differently, though. She doesn’t use a second pot to boil the noodles. She keeps the water that the chicken was poached in, and bring it back to a boil to cook the noodles. The recipe doesn’t say why they do this, but I am guessing it is to add flavor to the noodles. I’ve made the recipe both ways, several times. So, you do you.
3. Make the sauce: easier, peasier, and tastier.
Now here is my FAVORITE part!! So much so that it makes me want dance and shout and shake my body down to the ground #michaeljackson. This sauce is SO DELICIOUS! You pretty much just combine all of the ingredients that are not chicken and noodles, and whisk, baby, whisk!
And let me tell you, this recipe is so forgiving and has lots of wiggle room. I’ve varied this recipe several times, sometimes unintentionally, and it has still turned out delicious.
For example, the recipe calls for two teaspoons of sesame oil; you’re supposed to use one teaspoon for the sauce and the second teaspoon to coat the noodles, but the first time I made this recipe I mistakenly put both teaspoons of sesame oil in the sauce, instead of only one. And the sauce was still amazing. And now I usually do that, anyway.
And sometimes I don’t use a teaspoon of sesame oil to coat the noodles. And sometimes I don’t dry the noodles as much as reasonably possible (as instructed by the recipe; you’ll see below).
One time I added a little extra tahini because I thought it would add extra creamy deliciousness. But it didn’t. I noticed a difference in the flavor, but not a good difference. While it didn’t ruin the sauce, I wasn’t licking the bowl like usual. Just stick with the recommended 1/4 cup.
I usually use 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, instead of 1, just because that’s what I do.
Sometimes I go ahead and use a full teaspoon of cayenne pepper, instead of just 1/2. And one time I didn’t add cayenne pepper at all, which I don’t recommend because you CAN tell the difference.
And most of the time I use 1-2 tablespoons of chili oil, instead of just two teaspoons.
And I still make this dish even if I don’t have scallions on hand.
And lastly, I am ashamed to say that I have been using vegetable oil in this recipe, instead of the peanut oil. Reason being that I only saw humongous bottles of peanut oil at the grocery store, and I thought I am not going to buy a humongous bottle of something I may not use again. Kitchen real estate is presh (let’s make that our new motto!).
But apparently peanut oil is supposed to be relatively healthy, according to my Googles. Am I an idiot for not knowing this? Anyhow, I *am* going to add peanut oil to my grocery list and purchase whatever size the store has, because I promise you, you will use these ingredients over and over again for this recipe.
Putting it All Together
(Those are the words one uses to present an Asian flavored dish, no?)
The Last Note
These noodles are good at any temp, you can serve them immediately, or eat them cold. The leftovers are delish. I’ve eaten them cold, and warmed them up. Whatever you are feeling!
This recipe is one of my favorites from Chrissy Teigen's Cravings cookbook, if not my absolute favorite. This is probably the recipe I have made the most frequently, and will continue to do so. The tahini adds a beautiful depth of flavor and creamy consistency to this dressing, and the chili oil and cayenne pepper add the best hint of spice. I always double my use of each. Plus there's 3 tablespoons of soy sauce in here-- can you already imagine these flavors? But the very best part is that this recipe is pretty much FOOLPROOF and so quick to make. I wouldn't lie to you.
- kosher salt
- 8 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 8 ounces dried fettuccine
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 tablesppons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chili oil, or more if desired
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
Fill two pots with water, and salt each of them. Place each on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, we will add fettuccine to one pot and the chicken to the second pot.
While we are waiting for both pots to reach their boiling pot, let's make the sauce! In a medium bowl whisk together 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, the peanut oil, tahini, soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, honey, cayenne, and garlic until smooth.
When the pots of water reach their boiling point, add the fettuccine to one of the pots and cook to al dente according to its package instructions.
Add the chicken breast, to the second pot of boiling water, and then cover and remove from the heat. Let the chicken sit in the water for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove from the water and check for doneness, if it's still a little pink return to the water for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Drain the noodles and transfer them to a large bowl, and use a clean paper toowel to gently pat the noodles as dry as is actually reasonable. Toss the noodles with the remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
Shred the chicken, or chop into bite-size pieces, and add to the noodles.
Add the sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with the scallions.
Taste the amazingness that is this dish.