This salad is a great warm-weather meal. Making it ahead of time makes it a convenient meal for a picnic or for a company meal. Sesame oil really adds to the flavor, but if it doesn’t fit into your budget, you can use regular oil instead.
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sesame oil (or regular cooking oil)
1/2 cup rice vinegar or 1/3 cup white vinegar
2 ramen noodle seasoning packets
1 Tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups cubed chicken breasts or thighs
Whisk together marinade ingredients and toss 1/4 cup of it with the chicken breasts. Set aside the rest of the marinade. Let the chicken marinate for 1 hour.
1 Tbsp sesame or cooking oil
1 head Napa cabbage, cut into very thin slivers
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
2 Tbsp sesame seeds (toast them if you prefer that)
Three 3oz. packages oriental or chicken flavored ramen noodles, broken
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook it until no longer pink in the center. Transfer cooked chicken to a large bowl and add remaining salad ingredients. Toss to combine. Pour remaining marinade over salad and toss until everything is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.