A Luncheon First Course

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Wouldn’t you love to spend a week working with a leading winery, caterer or a specialty farmer for hands-on learning and mentoring? Each year, a few professional women who have had a minimum of four years of work experience are selected for this invaluable opportunity as winners of Les Dames d’Escoffier’s (LDEI) Legacy Awards.

The mentors, women who are tops in their fields, are all distinguished members of LDEI who volunteer for this program to give back by sharing their knowledge. The award program is supported by a donation from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, which was created by Julia Child in 1995 to support non-profit organizations sharing her commitment to educate and encourage others.

The Legacy Award winners of 2013 were lauded at an Awards luncheon in Austin during the recent LDEI annual conference. My post last Monday featured some highlights from the conference and a recipe that garnered rave reviews.

The Awards luncheon also featured a star first course, a peanut noodle salad developed by Kikkoman, host of the luncheon. The recipe was made for foodservice, yielding 24 servings, so I converted the sauce recipe for a smaller yield and eliminated one of the ingredients, making the recipe more user-friendly for everyday consumers. So this is the adaptation I tested.

I’m just giving you just the recipe for the Peanut Dressing. To make the full salad, toss the dressing with some cooked and chilled spaghettini, grilled chicken breast strips, bean sprouts, chopped water chestnuts, sliced green onion, chopped cilantro and chopped roasted peanuts.

This sauce would also be good as a dip for crudités or grilled chicken skewers, as a sauce for tofu or to dress a green salad.

Peanut Dressing
Makes 1 cup

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

In bowl, whisk peanut butter with soy sauce. Add vinegar, sugar, sriracha, sesame oil and garlic. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Gradually whisk in vegetable oil until mixture is emulsified. Cover and refrigerate. Recipe adapted from Kikkoman.


  • Serve as a dressing for green salads or as a crudité dip.
  • To make into a noodle salad, combine dressing with cooled and chilled spaghettini, grilled chicken breast strips, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, green onion slices, chopped cilantro and chopped roasted peanuts.

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Posted: Nov 3rd by Sandy_Hu