Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WDW - Spicy Thai Pasta Salad with chicken


I've been in love with a salad at Trader Joe's called "Spicy Thai Pasta Salad with Chicken" for quite some time. And, doggone it, nobody out there on the whole stinkin' world wide web has the knock off recipe posted. So, I've been researching (online and reading TJ's package!) and experimenting in the kitchen. I think I have arrived at something that is pretty close to TJ's. And, the good news is, KJ (me) can make a huge amount of this for the same price TJ's sells a little lunch size one for! Ha!

I used thin spaghetti when I made mine, which worked well, but you could also use Angel Hair (which is what TJ's uses), linguine or even regular spaghetti. I also didn't have any red bell pepper or purple cabbage on hand when I made it and will definitely add those next time. It could use a little crunch and a little red and purple color would be nice. This would be a great salad to serve for a light summer dinner, or to take to the beach for lunch. Think of it next time you have some leftover pasta. The only exotic ingredient is fresh ginger - and it's pretty much a must (don't substitute dried). If you don't want it spicy, just omit the cayenne pepper.

KJ's Spicy Thai Pasta Salad with Chicken

8 cups cooked noodles (spaghetti, angel hair, or linguine)
1 cup diced cooked chicken (I used TJ's "just chicken")
large handful of cilantro, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped or julienned
1/2 cup finely chopped purple cabbage
1/2 cup grated carrot

Spicy Peanut Dressing

2/3 c. smooth peanut butter
1/2 c. rice wine vinegar
6 tbsp. extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
4 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Whirl all together in mini food processor or blender. Add as much dressing as you desire (there may be extra) and toss with salad. Garnish with some chopped peanuts, if desired.

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Kevin & Pam said...

I tried this recipe a couple of days ago and just loved it! I can't wait to try more of them. I also just love your blog. :)

Anonymous said...

This recipe was perfect! We moved hours away from the closest TJs so this was a godsend, its my favorite lunch. I was out of ginger and too sick to head to the store so I went with ground and it was still pretty good! Next time I might use peanut oil just to take things to the next level :) Delicious, thanks so much!!

Kells said...

I have made this recipe a couple times now and love, love, LOVE it! You did a fantastic job re-creating Trader Joe's recipe, and actually, I think this tastes much better! Thanks so much for putting this out here for the rest of us to use! =)

Anonymous said...

Oh my I love you for this. Just made this and wow tastes just the same. What a cost saver

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is happening to all TJ's...but the one in my area is no longer carrying these friggin delicious thai pasta chicken salad and the real kicker for me was this DELICIOUS PEANUT SAUCE. I dont mean to sound so aggressive but THIS RECIPE CREATED THE TJ'S SPICY PEANUT SAUCE TO A T!!!!! if not better.... seriously you guys, I am so grateful for this blog and if you are a little skeptical about it, DON'T BE!

Anonymous said...

I don't live near a Trader Joe's but everytime I go to a city where there is one, I pick up this salad. So today, I decided to try and search the web for a copycat recipe and found this page. I am super excited and cannot WAIT to try it. From the previous comments, it must be pretty darn good and sounds really close to the TJ's version. Thank you SOOOO much for posting this recipe!

Kathryn Barnes said...

Thanks for the amazing recipe! I made it today with Chuka Soba noodles and it was fantastic. I felt that the cayenne was crucial to getting the flavor as close to Trader Joe's. Love it! Thanks again!