Grilled Asian Chicken with Peanut  Noodles

If you make one new recipe this week, for all that is lovely and good and wonderful, let this be it.

I can’t get enough of this meal. For as many recipes as I have waiting in the wings to try, it’s unusual for me to make the same meal twice in a two week period just because I loved it so much. This recipe makes the short list of meals that haunted me until I made them again.

I’ve waxed poetic before about my love for Asian-inspired noodle dishes (need evidence? here, here, here, here). This meal is the ultimate combination: sweet-spicy, creamy peanut noodles with deliciously tender Asian grilled chicken and little bits of sweet and tangy cucumber salad (or sambal, if you really want to sound like a true foodie) thrown in there.

Grilled Asian Chicken with Peanut Noodles

Don’t even think about making this without the cucumber sambal. You load your fork up with a bite of juicy chicken, peanut noodles and tartly flavored cucumbers and I swear to you, it’s complete and pure heaven. The flavors are totally out of this world – the perfect amount of spiciness and sweetness and tanginess.

You know those meals you could eat over and over and over again and still probably be tempted to make tomorrow? Yep, this is that meal for me. The bonus is that it comes together in 30 minutes or less (especially if the cucumber sambal is made ahead of time, but even if not, it’s a speedy meal) and is a fabulous light and healthy option for the warm months ahead.

What To ServeSteamed broccoli or roasted cauliflower or even corn on the cob
Fresh pineapple slices
Green Salad

One Year Ago: Tex-Mex Enchilada Casserole
Two Years Ago: Brown Sugar Crackle Cookies
Three Years Ago: Congo Bars

Grilled Asian Chicken with Peanut Noodles and Cucumber Sambal

Yield: Serves 4 (more if serving young kids)

Grilled Asian Chicken with Peanut Noodles and Cucumber Sambal

The cucumber sambal can be made a couple hours (if not a day or so) in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator which can save time during dinner prep. Also, if you are confused about what exactly chili garlic sauce is, it is widely available near the other Asian ingredients - similar to sriracha sauce but a bit different in flavor and texture. I use the Huy Fong brand (MSG-free) and usually buy it on Amazon since my itty bitty grocery store in town is one of the few that don't carry it. It does pack a bit of heat so go easy on it if you are lowering the spiciness of the dish (you can always add more later if you need an extra kick).


    Cucumber Sambal:
  • 1 cup seeded and diced cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup thinly chopped green onions, white and green parts
  • 1/2 cup small diced red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • Grilled Chicken and Noodles:
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, divided (you'll use some for the chicken, some for the noodles)
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce divided (same as the brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon peanut, canola, vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • 12 ounces dry spaghetti noodles
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce, more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro


  1. For the cucumber sambal, toss all the ingredients together and chill until ready to serve (this can be made a couple hours or even 1-2 days ahead of time).
  2. Preheat a grill to medium or medium-high heat. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, oil and salt. Add the chicken breasts and toss to coat the chicken with the sauce. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. While the chicken rests in the marinade, start a large pot of salted water to boil.
  4. In a microwave-safe bowl or in a small saucepan, combine the broth, peanut butter, remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, vinegar, lime juice, remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ginger, chili garlic sauce and sesame oil. Heat, stirring often, until simmering and smooth. Off the heat (or after it is done microwaving), stir in the cilantro. Season with a dash of salt, more or less to taste.
  5. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
  6. While the noodles cook, grill the chicken 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through (about 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). Remove to a plate and tent with foil.
  7. When the noodles are finished cooking, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water in a bowl and then drain the noodles. Dump the noodles into a bowl or on a serving platter and toss with the warm peanut sauce. Add a tablespoon or two of the hot pasta water if needed to loosen up the noodles and sauce a bit (especially helpful if the noodles have sat for 5-10 minutes before serving).
  8. Serve the grilled chicken with the peanut noodles (you can even top the grilled chicken with the noodles) and a heaping scoop of the cucumber sambal.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cuisine at Home April 2014 (increased noodles slightly, added sesame oil, adapted some minor ingredients for flavor)

44 Responses to Grilled Asian Chicken with Peanut Noodles and Cucumber Sambal

  1. Julia says:

    I have been making this recipe for quite some time. I got it from my mother!

  2. Angie says:

    Holy crap this was SO good. I’m obsessed with peanut butter so I figured I’d like this but I was unsure about the cucumber sambal in combination with it. But of course it was amazing!! Loved how much noodles there were since after tasting our first serving we wanted to dish up more! Will definitely be making this again and again! Thanks for another great recipe.

  3. Isabelle says:

    I made this with a lot of apprehension because I don’t make Asian dishes often, and very rarely dishes I haven’t had in restaurants. But this was great! I will up the peanut sauce next time because I loved it so much! So proud that I made something way out of my comfort zone and it came out great. Thank you!

  4. Miranda says:

    Is this the time to use the sugary processed peanut butter or the yummy natural stuff? I’m thinking with the added brown sugar the natural should be ok but I just want to make sure I make this dish to the fullest of it’s potential 😉

  5. Cyndi B says:

    Just letting you know I have made this no less than six times since you posted the recipe. This is one of our favorite summer meals. Also, I have made the cucumber sambal almost weekly. (We eat it kind of like a salad/pickle type thing to eat with our meal) Thanks for a great meal!

  6. Michelle says:

    Mel this was so YUMMY! Please no hurt feelings but I was just expecting this meal to be average but I was pleasantly surprised! The cucumber sambal makes this meal over the top good. Thank you! This is going into our rotation, my husband and 3 year old gobbled it up.

    • Michelle says:

      The only difference I will do next time is to double the cucumber sambal because we ran out before we got through the rest of the leftover noodles. We really liked the sambal, as you can tell:-)

  7. Andrea says:

    This was really good. I do wish the chicken had a more flavorful marinade. I added some garlic to mine. I loved the fresh taste and texture the cucumber mixture added. Most of my family liked it (there’s always someone who’s unhappy with dinner ;), so I’m sure I’ll be making it again. Thanks Mel!

  8. Natalie says:

    Tried this tonight. It was amazing. Love your blog

  9. Leah says:

    I just have to tell you your website is my go-to. I have two boys 12 and 14 and when I say I’m making something off your website for dinner they totally trust it. For good reason. This was one that the both didn’t get really excited about as I was making it. I wouldn’t even tell them what was in it because neither of them like cucumbers. They both LOVED it. They each had seconds (the big one had thirds). Thank you for helping me feel like I’m better in the kitchen than I really am.

  10. Sheila says:

    Delicious! Because I am married to a meat, potatoes, and gravy guy, I was nervous about fixing this for dinner so I (seriously) made Salisbury steak and had on the back burner as a back up dinner. My husband loved this Asian recipe! Yeah! I watched in amazement as he finished the last of the cucumber samba. Ironically, he wasn’t so thrilled with the Salisbury steak recipe (no wonder, it was not yours, Mel). You rock, Mel, and my family loves you!

  11. Rumina says:

    this one is a an absolute keeper!

  12. Mamalala says:

    I made this for our family and they loved it. Taking it tonight to a good pal in need of love and support. Well done Mel. Very easy!
    I also served it cold and hot…delish either way.

  13. Natasha says:

    This was super duper good! I loved the sweet, warm, spicy, softness of the noodles and chicken with the cold, sweet, crispness of the sambal. Thanks!

  14. Melanie says:

    I made this with brown rice noodles (because I had them on hand). It was amazingly delicious!

  15. Maxine Wright says:

    I discovered your website a couple of months ago and now my weekly menu plan includes usually two to three new recipes from you. Many have been hits way out of the ballpark, some not so much (*cough* spaghetti pie), but this, this is just so amazingly delicious I just had to write and tell you! Will definitely go on my “to make again”list. Thanks!

  16. Cyndi B says:

    Oh my goodness! This was fantastic. I loved the noodles with the cucumber sambal- unbelievable. My husband really enjoyed this dish as well. Thanks for a great recipe that I will definately be making again.

  17. Kate says:

    I made this and, wow, it was fantastic. I didn’t have the chili-garlic sauce so I subbed sriracha. My youngest is allergic to peanuts, so we subbed almond butter for the peanut butter. It turned out great, I can’t wait to make it again.

  18. Melanie says:

    Just a quick question. Is there a big difference between rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar? All I could find is rice vinegar.

    • Mel says:

      Melanie – I use the two of those interchangeably all the time, in fact, where I live I can only find rice vinegar. Will work just fine!

      • Melanie says:

        I made it with the rice vinegar, and it was super yummy! Thanks for another great recipe. My boys and I are making your bagels this afternoon 🙂

  19. Robin says:

    I liked the asian noodles and chicken but i thought the salad dressing was too tart so I added a little of Newman’s Own low fat sesame ginger salad dressing.

  20. I also love Asian inspired noodle dishes, yum!

  21. Sarah says:

    I can’t wait to make this, but it cracks me up that you say it comes together in about 30 minutes…it may come together in 30 minutes, but it’s gonna take me 30 minutes to pull all the ingredients! LOL

  22. Gail says:

    We made this last night and it was so good. A refreshing change for us since I haven’t made very many Asian inspired dishes before at home. My husband agreed and wanted to make sure I’d make it again! I printed the recipe and with no picture I diced up the veggies really small so it looked more like a relish…but tasted great…next time, now that i see your picture again, I’ll chop the size you have in your picture and serve it more like a side dish. Thanks for a great recipe…it turned out to be such a tasty, easy meal.

  23. Hey Mel- this looks great. Quick question- do you know why every time you comment on one of your posts it appears in my feedly feed? It did that for google reader too! I wasn’t sure if you were aware of it, so wanted to bring it your attention! The post says something like Comment on (and then whatever the post is). xoxo

    • Mel says:

      Hi Koko – that threw me for a minute so I did some digging and it looks like if you are receiving the comments you are subscribed to the comment feed ( Can you look in feedly and see if that’s the link you are subscribed to? From what I understand each reader can enable being subscribed to the comments feed for a blog or not and if they are, they will get updated comments in their feed reader (Feedly, in your case). It looks like you just want to be subscribed to:

      If nothing else, you might try deleting my blog completely from Feedly and resubscribing. Hope that helps!

  24. Sara H. says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and I was amazed at how my young kids devoured it! I knew that I would enjoy it but I sort of thought it would be one of those meals that my kids wouldn’t eat much of. Boy was I wrong! There is a (small) plate in the fridge for my husband who had to work late. Thanks so much! This is a perfect quick dinner for hot summer days.

  25. Anne says:

    Made this last night, sans chicken. It was delicious!! A keeper for sure.

  26. Nathalie says:

    Made this tonight-WOW! It was delicious and will definitely be in my supper rotation, thanks so much for providing us with wonderful recipes, I make your recipes almost nightly and they are always delicious!

  27. Jen says:

    This is maybe a forehead-slapper question, but when you say “red pepper” do you mean a bell pepper or a chile pepper?

  28. Robyn says:

    Hi Mel, my husband has to eat gluten free, could I make this recipe with rice instead of noodles?

  29. Kim in MD says:

    Yum- I love everything about this dish! I have made many CAH recipes and have always had success with them. I somehow missed this one, and I am looking forward to trying it!

  30. Meghan says:

    Plus it’s just fun to say Sambal… looks yummy

  31. Deanna says:

    This was soo delicious! I hardly ever make the same dinner twice-thanks to you keeping my to try file full-but my husband insisted that I put this one on the rotation again soon. Thank you!!

  32. Get out of my dreams, get into my face. (Yes…that just happened)

  33. Amanda says:

    Thanks so much for the recipe, looks wonderful. And thanks for the suggestions to serve with it, so much help! 🙂

  34. Anne says:

    Amazingly, I have all the ingredients except for the chili garlic sauce. I may try this tonight and not worry about that little tablespoon’s absence. Sounds delicious!

  35. Sheila says:

    Oh, Mel . . .thank you! Already loaded up the week with Mel meals and did my grocery shopping on Saturday to complete the list of ingredients I needed. Ugh . . .so much for being a responsible, organized, prepared wife and mom. 🙁

  36. Cyndi B says:

    That looks perfect for dinner tomorrow. Do you think you could marinate the chicken longer(overnight)? Thanks for another great recipe.

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