spicy cashew chicken ramen bowl


Two bowls of ramen & chicken
An effortless meal for two

This was an idea born of a need to use a rotisserie chicken that had been languishing in the fridge for a couple days now. A well-intentioned purchase that seemed destined to go unused, becoming less appetizing by the day. Using Bon Appetit’s recipe for a versatile cashew dressing (linked here & included below), a pantry ramen bowl was born. The dressing makes more than enough for what you’ll need here, and can be easily thrown onto roast vegetables, grain bowls, chickpeas, salads, you-name-it for the next week. It’s the perfect accompaniment to clear out the ranks in your fridge & pantry.

I happened to have ramen on hand, but this would be good with a variety of noodles. The asian flavors seem to ask for udon, soba or glass noodles, but I think it would be good with zucchini noodles too. Not sure how well it would translate with traditional spaghetti noodles, but I say go for it if that’s all you have.

I also had a bag of jalapeños I was trying to use up, thus the charred jalapeño topping. If you don’t like heat, you could try this with sliced scallion greens, replace it with crushed nuts of your choosing, or omit it altogether. Same goes for the kale. Red cabbage would be a fun substitute to add color contrast, but would be tasty with any color cabbage.

In times of staying home and limiting grocery trips, I challenge you to make this recipe using what you already have in your kitchen! It will encourage you to be creative and stretch what you already have. Tell me about you use and how it tasted in the comments below. Have fun!

Close up of bowl of ramen, homemade dressing and sesame seeds

Ingredients:

  • rotisserie chicken (you probably won’t use all of it for this recipe; save the rest for tacos/quesadillas, salads, grain bowls, etc…)
  • 1 pack ramen noodles
  • 1-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1-2 cups chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup raw crunchy vegetables (celery, fennel, radish)
  • 1/4 c fresh chopped herbs, preferably cilantro
  • Roasted sesame seeds

Cashew Dressing

  • 1/2 c roasted salted cashews
  • 1/4 vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove

Remove skin from a rotisserie chicken. Remove meat from bones and shred or cut into bite sized pieces. If using day old chicken, add to a large saucepan with 1/4-1/2 cup chicken stock or salted water. Simmer covered until chicken has absorbed all liquid and become tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, blend cashews, veg oil, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, fish sauce, honey, garlic clove, and ⅓ cup warm water in a blender until very creamy, smooth, and pourable. Taste dressing and season with salt.

Cook one pack of ramen. Discard seasoning. Drain and transfer to medium bowl. Add cashew dressing 1 tablespoon at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon of veg oil if noodles are clumping together, until all noodles are coated. 

Char 1 sliced jalapeño in 1 T olive oil over medium high. Let cook 1 min undisturbed, then toss for 1 more minute, until charred in spots. Using a slotted spoon, move jalapeños to a bowl and repeat process with one cup chopped kale in the same pan until bright green, charred & partially wilted. Toss kale with noodles.

Slice any raw crunchy veg you have on hand and add to noodles. Divide among bowls. Top with reserved chicken, charred jalapeños, chopped fresh herbs and roasted sesame seeds. 

Close up of spicy cashew chicken ramen bowl

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