Ramen has been a go-to college meal since the dawn of education. A cornerstone of all-night study sessions, this familiar square of dried noodles has helped many PSU students stave off starvation. But if you’re ready to take ramen to a whole new nutritional level, try it in this sesame chicken salad recipe.
A medley of delicious vegetables and lean chicken breast make this meal everything your body craves. The sauce is sweet and satisfying and, because the salad is best served chilled, you can snack on it for days by keeping it refrigerated. (Remember: Always use separate cutting boards and knives when working with raw meat and vegetables.)
A quick and healthful way to cook your chicken is by poaching it. Place chicken breasts in a large saucepan and add water until the meat is just covered, then bring to a boil. For a more flavorful chicken, dump in your unused package of ramen seasoning to the poaching liquid.
Cover the pot with a lid, reduce to medium-low heat and let simmer until breasts are cooked through, which can take 12–20 minutes depending on their size.
Fill a bowl with cold water and some ice cubes and set aside. Boil a small pot of water and cook ramen noodles for 3 minutes until tender. Drain noodles and shock in ice water for a few minutes to chill, then drain again. Combine peanut butter, vinegar, sherry and sesame oil and stir until smooth. Then add green onion, cilantro, Sriracha and soy sauce and mix until well-incorporated.
Remove darker, outer romaine leaves and chop remaining bundle into small 1/2-inch pieces. Combine chopped chicken, lettuce, snap peas, bell pepper and cucumber in a large bowl and toss. Toss ingredients with about 1/2 of prepared dressing, adding more dressing as desired. Season with salt and pepper and garish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately or keep chilled.