Recipe: lime and chilli chicken salad with crispy noodles by Sue Quinn

This delicious and sprightly Thai-flavoured salad is reason enough to cook a chicken, says Sue Quinn. But it’s also the perfect way to use up any leftovers from a roast dinner. In terms of ingredients, it’s amazingly flexible: the ingredients list below is really just a guide. Only the dressing involves some forward planning and buying a couple of specialist items.


  • 150g medium fresh egg noodles (the straight-to-wok kind)
  • A splash of sesame oil or vegetable oil fine sea salt
  • 4cm piece of root ginger
  • grated 1 red chilli (medium heat)
  • sliced 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only)
  • grated 1 garlic clove
  • peeled 2 spring onions (chopped finely)
  • grated zest and juice of 2 limes, or more to taste
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • a handful of coriander leaves (roughly chopped)
  • a handful of mint leaves (chopped)
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil or other flavourless oil, or more if needed
  • a handful of cooked chicken (chopped or shredded)
  • 4 handfuls of crisp raw veg (about 600g): beansprouts, mangetout (sugarsnap peas), chopped cucumber, chopped red pepper, cherry tomatoes, grated carrot, finely sliced cabbage
  • a handful of coriander leaves


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas mark 4 and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Separate the noodles, drizzle with the sesame oil and toss with your hands to coat.
  • Spread out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet – you want them as far apart as possible. Roast for 15 mins or so, turning every 5 mins, until crispy and golden. Sprinkle with salt, leave to cool and break up a little.
  • Meanwhile, put all the dressing ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. It should have the consistency of double cream, so feel free to adjust with more oil or lime juice to achieve the right consistency and taste.
  • Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat everything.
  • Serve immediately, with the crispy noodles and any extra dressing alongside. Try… using leftover lamb, beef or pork instead of chicken. Swap… the vegetables suggested with whatever you like or need to use up, so long as they have some crunch. Add… toasted chopped peanuts or sesame seeds, if you like.

Taken from Second Helpings: Delicious Dishes to Transform Your Leftovers by Sue Quinn, published by Quadrille at £18.99. Photography by Facundo Bustamante. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £14.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit

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