H+H Perfect Picnic: Sesame Chicken Noodles

Hemsley Sesame Chicken Noodle Salad

We asked Hemsley + Hemsley to share their perfect family picnic recipes and tips with us. This cold sesame chicken noodle salad ticks all the boxes: it’s simple, light, refreshing and packed with nutrients.

Sesame Chicken Salad with Cucumber Noodles

This is the ultimate summer salad, refreshing with tangy Asian flavours, it’s the perfect way to use up all the juicy leftover bits of chicken from a roast. It’s also delicious served with a piece of grilled fish or seared sliced beef. Freshly spiralized cucumber noodles substitute the usual heavy base of refined flour noodles, making this recipe a perfect lunch option that will leave you feeling energised, not sluggish.

We love using raw chopped pak choi when we can find it, but Chinese-style cabbage and finely shredded English cabbage works too. Prepare everything in advance and then dress the salad just before serving to keep the cucumber crunchy. If you’re packing this for a picnic, place the chicken and dressing in your container first then arrange all the veg on top so they don’t get squashed.

Serves 2

For the salad

  • 2 tbsp black or white sesame seeds
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 small head of romaine or cos lettuce, shredded into ribbons
  • 1 small head of pak choi or 150 g Chinese cabbage, shredded into ribbons
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 250 g cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 red chilli, to garnish (optional)

For the sesame dressing

  • 5 tbsp sesame oil (not toasted) or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • juice of 1 lime or 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp raw runny honey 1 tsp tamari or sea salt

  1. Finely chopped red chilli, to garnish (if using).
  2. Gently toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until fragrant.
  3. Use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to make the cucumber noodles. Or use a regular vegetable peeler to slice the cucumbers lengthways into wide pappardelle-style ribbons.Youmight want to cut the long, spiralized strands in half to make them easier to eat.
  4. Prepare the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients in a bowl or shaking them together in a jam jar.
  5. Add the lettuce, pak choi, spring onion and coriander to a bowl.
  6. Pour over the dressing just before serving and mix everything together (hands are best).
  7. Plate up with the shredded chicken and top with toasted sesame seeds.
  8. If making the chicken fresh, roast 2 large chicken thighs at fan 200°C/ Gas mark 7 for 25–30 minutes until cooked, then shred with 2 forks to cool the meat quickly.
  9. Save the the skin, crisp it further if needs be and then chop up and sprinkle over for a deliciously tasty low-carb and gluten free alternative to croutons.

This recipe is part of our Hemsley + Hemsley healthy family picnic feature. Find out what the girls had to say on packing on the perfect picnic.

 Extracted from the The Art of Eating Well by Jasmine Hemsley and Melissa Hemsley (Ebury Press).