This is basically an adaptation of this recipe, to give credit where credit's due.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 package Chinese thick egg noodles
- 125g spinach leaves (baby spinach is OK too)
- Fresh coriander; either one packet or one plant's worth
- 150ml mirin (Japanese cooking wine). The brand I buy happens to come in 150ml bottles; quantity is not completely critical.
- 50ml soy sauce
- 40ml sesame oil
- 40ml lemon juice
- 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- Five-spice powder (about 5 tsp total)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Put the vegetable oil and approx. 50ml of the mirin into a baking dish, then add the chicken breasts in a single layer. Sprinkle some (= a couple of teaspoons, but this is somewhat a matter of taste) five-spice powder over the chicken. Cover the pan with foil, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes (or until cooked) at 180C/gas mark 4. Leave to cool in the dish.
2. Make the dressing; heat approx. 3 tsp five-spice powder with the sesame oil until the oil bubbles, then remove from the heat. Mix with the remainder of the mirin, the soy sauce, the lemon juice, the lemon zest, the ginger and the garlic to form the salad dressing.
3. Cut the spinach into strips (a pair of scissors applied to handfuls of spinach leaves works fine). Chop the coriander, not too finely.
4. Cut up the cooked chicken into "bite-sized" pieces (to me, this means cubes about 3/4" - 1" on a side or something close to this)
5. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain well.
6. In a large bowl -- really, don't underestimate the size you'll want at this stage -- put the noodles, pouring some of the dressing over them. Then add the spinach, the coriander, the chicken and the rest of the dressing.
7. Toss the salad and serve.
This isn't really a salad which would work at a picnic or a buffet because of the long bits of noodle, but it's very tasty as a lunch dish. Serves two hungry people with plenty of leftovers for the next day, or more probably four people without loads of leftovers.