My friend Shiela shared this recipe not too long ago. I made it one night and loved it. Not only was it tasty and fresh and the perfect summer salad, but it was easy to make. It's versatile, too-- I add water chestnuts and sometimes pea pods to it, but you can add or leave out whatever you want!
I just knew it would be a hit with my family and could hardly wait for the next family gathering so I could bring it along. When my sister invited us all over for a day-after-the-Fourth-of-July picnic (yes, it would have been easier to just say July 5th picnic), I knew it was time to showcase this salad. I was so excited. I even started it at midnight, after returning home from a 4th of July party, and got the noodles cooked so that they would be nice and cold for sure in the morning.
I awoke in the morning and promptly lit the grill for the chicken, even before I made my morning cup of tea. That's how excited I was about bringing this rock star salad.
I mixed up the salad, plated it and had my regular food-blog-photo-op with it (Useless Info: do you know I probably take about 35 shots of the same angle hoping for a good picture for this blog? I used to think it was hard work getting a group photo of all 8 of the grand kids in our family-- getting them all to look and smile at the same time-- that's nothing compared to trying to get a decent shot of a plate of food!). Anyways, after the photo-op, I neatly packed up the salad in a bowl and tucked it into the fridge so it could get nice and cold for the picnic.
Fast forward to the picnic.
My dad mentions he made a new salad for the picnic. A spaghetti salad. Jokingly, I say, "It's not a Thai peanut salad, is it?"
I mean really, what are the odds?
My dad answers, "Yes, it is."
And proceeds to tell me what's in it-- basically the same things as mine!!!
We laugh (awkwardly) and move beyond it and start talking about something else, like the weather or some other fluffy subject, while I'm secretly in my head cussing about the fact that we have two of the same salads and now my salad won't be the hit! (okay, who am I kidding-- it wasn't secretly and it wasn't actually even in my head).
Fast forward to when one of my sisters arrive.... carrying a big pasta bowl.
Again, jokingly, I say, "that isn't a Thai Peanut salad, is it?"
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
I don't even need to tell you, do I?
She brought a Thai Peanut salad.
So, while it was so much fun to finally have a family gathering to bring my salad to, three of the four family's at the gathering brought the same salad, with minor alterations. I had to eat some of all three, of course. Here they are together on one plate-- you can definitely see the similarities but also the differences.
Here is the recipe for the salad I brought-- which for some reason, didn't taste as rock star-ish as I wanted it to that day! It's really a perfect potluck recipe-- but you may want to check ahead of time to make sure that nobody else is bringing it!
Thai Peanut Chicken Noodle Salad
1 cup Kraft Asian Sesame Dressing
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp. crunchy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 pkg. (1 lb.) thin spaghetti
4 green onions, sliced
1 cup chopped cilantro
Cook spaghetti as directed on package. Toss cooked chicken chunks with 1/4 c. Asian Sesame Dressing. Mix remaining dressing mixture, peanut butter, honey and crushed red pepper.
Drain spaghetti. Add to chicken mixture with peanut butter mixture and all remaining ingredients; mix lightly. Serve warm or chill in fridge for 4 hours before serving.