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This refreshing peanut noodle salad may be one of your favorite dishes to order in a restaurant. Bring this dish to life in your own kitchen with fresh herbs, citrus and a unique combination of color and texture. This slaw is also great on its own or served on the side of other dishes. Try adding fruit like kiwi or papaya to the slaw to it for a fun summer twist.
16-20 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast*
8 ounces Maifun Rice Noodles (skinniest rice noodles, similar to angle hair pasta)
1 bottle favorite peanut salad dressing
1 tablespoon rice wine or white wine vinegar
1-2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce (optional for spicy)
1 cup jicama, cut into matchsticks
1 cup Persian cucumber, seeded and cut into matchsticks**
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 green apple, cut into matchsticks
¾ cup shredded carrot
¼ cup freshly chopped mint
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
*Shrimp, Tofu, Steak or protein of your choice may be substituted.
**Persian cucumbers, also called salad cucumbers, look like miniature cucumbers, and have finer less bitter skin. Regular cucumbers may also be used.
1. On a clean cutting board, cover the chicken with saran wrap and pound out with a meat mallet to about ½ inch thickness. This will tenderize the chicken and help it soak up the peanut sauce.
2. Place the chicken in a baking dish and cover with ¼ cup of the peanut salad dressing. Let sit for 20 minutes, out of the fridge, while you prepare the vegetable slaw.
3. To prepare the slaw, add the jicama, cucumber, apple, carrot, mint, basil and cilantro to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together ½ cup of the peanut salad dressing with the juice and zest of the orange and lemon, as well as the vinegar and the garlic chili sauce for spicy. Toss the slaw with half of the dressing mixture. Reserve the other half for the noodles.
4. Heat the grill to medium high. Grill the chicken 3-5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
5. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook for 2 minutes, assuring they don’t get mushy. Immediately transfer to a strainer and thoroughly rinse with cold water. Press the noodles with paper towel to release all the moisture. Toss the noodles in a bowl with the reserved peanut dressing.
6. This dish can be served family style on a large platter with the slaw over the noodles and the sliced chicken on the side. Or can be plated individually dividing the slaw, noodles, and chicken into four large or six small portions.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif. She is also a professional Xterra triathlete and mountain biker. Follow Jess’ recipes on her “Fit Food by Jess” Facebook page.
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