Szechuan Chicken Pasta

1 lb. thin mein (Chinese noodles)
¾ cup soy sauce
¼ cup peanut oil
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
¼ cup Oriental-style sesame oil
Mongolian Fire Oil (Szechuan chili oil)
2 whole chicken breasts
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup slivered baby carrots
1 red sweet pepper, coarsely chopped
1 can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1 jar miniature corn on the cob, drained and thickly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ lb fresh snow peas, trimmed
toasted sesame seeds (To toast -- place in heavy frying pan over moderate heat. Stir until seeds are golden. Remove from heat and cool.)

Skin, bone and halve chicken breasts. Poach and cool. Cut into bite-sized pieces.

Cook noodles in 4 quarts boiling water until al dente. Drain and toss in a large bowl with ½ cup soy sauce, then peanut oil. Cool to room temperature, occasinally stirring the noodles to coat thoroughly.

Combine mayonnaise with mustard, sesame oil, the remaining ¼ cup soy sauce, and chili oil to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Add chicken, onions, carrots, pepper, bamboo shoots, corn and cilantro to noodles. Mix gently, but thoroughly, with hands. Add the mayonnaise mixture and blend well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, preferably overnight.

Cut snow peas into julienne, blanch until crisp-tender, cool in ice water, then drain. About 30 minutes before serving time, remove noodle mixture from refrigerator and toss in julienned snow peas, adding a little extra soy sauce and peanut oil or mayonnaise if the noodles seem dry. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve cold.

The original recipe says that it serves 6 as a main course; 10 to 12 as a salad. That would be if you were serving extremely hungry people. Count on it serving many more.

— JP