pasta: cold & asian style – take-away!

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Today we prepare “salad in a jar” – a real big jar! There you’ll finally find Italian pasta & vegetables & chicken – combined w/ Asian spices like sautéed in a wok… i. e. no greens… Does it harmonize? Just give it a try!

When recently surfing my favorite food blogs I came across a blog event about „pasta salads in a jar“ at moey’s kitchen hosted by Kochtopf. It’s all about summertime salads in a jar based on pasta.

I thought about it & decided to try a pasta salad w/ Asian flavours.

So all ingredients finally found their way – layered – in a big jar…

…& how it happened so far – just read on!

We start w/ a big empty jar – important: the lid should seal the jar tightly!

Pasta is pasta is spaghetti. (At 1st I thought about classic Asian noodles, but … pasta is pasta & thin spaghetti will be an excellent choice.)

What else?

  • boneless chicken breast
  • carrots
  • snow peas (aka mangetout)
  • spring onions
  • …& chili peppers (for all who like it hot – really hot!).

As always in Asian cuisine you’ll have to chop & cut & julienne all the ingredients before starting the wok. (I decided to do strips – exception: chili peppers!).

Now we’re dealing w/ the cook & stir-fry sessions:

  • we cook the spaghetti & add – after draining – some flavorful sesame oil – to prevent them from sticking…
  • we stir-fry the chicken until well done (!)
  • we stir-fry carrots & snow peas & spring onions until ready, but still crispy…

You may use your wok as well as your pan. I started w/ the chicken (& Asian oil & Chinese spices) & continued w/ the vegetables w/o cleaning the wok resp. pan in between – no elimination of the flavours!

If you like add chili peppers to the chicken: it’ll be rather hot! (I didn’t proceed this way, but reserved the hotness for the dressing (& the topping).)

Last, but not least:
I didn’t break the spaghetti! They remained as is – naturally long! If you think it’ll to difficult to eat then just break them once or twice…

When the preliminaries are done we can start cleaning the kitchen – just a little – because everything (spaghetti, vegetables…) need to cool down.

The dressing is a fast affair: we just combine mayonnaise & sweet chili sauce. You may do it 1:1, but also 1:2 or 1:3 … the more sweet chili sauce, the hotter!

Why using mayonnaise? It’s summertime & it’s warm… sometimes even hot… The salad shall be able to survive at higher temperatures!

Finale we chop chives & some more chili pepper (when having used the chili pepper for the chicken before).

Now it’s assembling time:

  • dressing
  • spaghetti
  • snow peas
  • carrots
  • spring onions
  • chicken

…& on top

  • chives
  • chili peppers.

(…& about 3-4 cm open space under the lid!)






…& that’s our Asian flavoured pasta salad in the jar!



pasta: cold & asian style – take-away!

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Servings: 4-8

pasta: cold & asian style – take-away!

Today we prepare "salad in a jar" - a real big jar! There you’ll finally find Italian pasta & vegetables & chicken - combined w/ Asian spices like sautéed in a wok... i. e. no greens... Does it harmonize? Just give it a try!


    for the salad:
  • 75 g thin spaghetti
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil - the roasted one...
  • 150 g boneless chicken breast
  • 1/2 tsp mixed Chinese spices
  • 1 fresh red chili - optional
  • 2-3 tbsp Asian oil
  • 150 g carrots
  • 150 g snow peas (aka mangetout)
  • 4-5 spring onions
  • for the dressing:
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2-4 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • on top:
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh chives
  • 1 fresh red chili - optional
  • equipment:
  • a jar of about 1.100 ml

How to...

    for the salad:
  1. Cook the thin spaghetti in lots of water for about 5 min - then drain the pasta.
  2. Mix at once w/ the sesame oil so that the pasta is covered completely.
  3. Set aside & let it cool down.
  4. Cut the chicken breast into strips.
  5. Julienne the spring onions (about 4-5 cm long).
  6. Clean the carrots & julienne them (about 4-5 cm long).
  7. Julienne the snow peas.
  8. optional: Cut the chili into thin rings.
  9. Heat the Asian oil in a pan or a wok & stir-fry the chicken.
  10. Add Chinese spices mix.
  11. optional: Add chili.
  12. Stir-fry for 4-5 min until the chicken is well done.
  13. Put all in a bowl, set aside & let it cool down.
  14. Add the spring onions to the pan (or wok) - w/o cleaning the pan/wok beforehand!
  15. Stir-fry for about 2-3 min.
  16. Put the spring onions in a bowl, set aside & let it cool down.
  17. Stir-fry the carrots for 6-8 min - same procedure as before...
  18. Stir-fry the snow peas for 6-8 min - also same procedure as before...
  19. for the dressing:
  20. Combine mayonnaise & sweet chili sauce.
  21. on top:
  22. Chop the chives.
  23. optional: Cut the chili into thin rings.
  24. assembling:
  25. Pour the dressing into the jar.
  26. Layer the spaghetti on top of the dressing - discard the sesame oil left on the bottom of the bowl i. e. dont add it to the spaghetti in the jar.
  27. Layer the snow peas on top & press on.
  28. Layer the carrots on top & press on - snow peas & carrots are rather crispy: so press on.
  29. Layer the spring onions on top.
  30. Layer the chicken on top.
  31. For decoration & final flavoring add chives & of course - optional - chili.
  32. When closing the jar there should be a free space of 3-4 cm on top.


Prep Time: Cleaning & cutting & julienning of the vegetables & the chicken as well as stir-frying take their time. (Reward: a nice colored layering in the jar!) Times for stir-frying & cooking of the spaghetti are part of the „Prep Time“.

It’s a rich salad: the jar of 1.100 ml will be enough for up to 4 main or 8 side dishes.

Spaghetti: If you like to use thicker spaghetti, adjust the cooking time.

The sesame oil adds a nice Asian flavour to the spaghetti - and it keeps the spaghetti from sticking together.

Mix of Chinese spices: It’s a ready-to-use mix of ground ginger, curcuma, cumin, paprika, pepper...

Asian oil: It's a flavored oil w/ ginger, chili, lemon grass & peppercorns. You may also use peanut oil & add fresh ginger, fresh lemon grass, dried chili peppers & peppercorns - however discard all ingredients after stir-frying.

Pasta salad is best served at room temperature. In the fridge you may store it at least for 24 h.


What to do w/ the jar?

Lid on we can take it anywhere. The ingredients stay fresh & crispy as if just prepared. Then… some time gone: we grip the jar (lid on!!!) & shake it vigorously – remember the open space of 3-4 cm on top: the shaking will work only if there is some open space.

Now dressing & pasta & vegetables & chicken are mixed!

What about the big jar:
In the big jar we can store more than 1 serving! Wherever we are (in the office? at a BBQ? at a garden brunch?) we can start now to serve servings or we just open the lid, plunge in a tablespoon & everybody may practise self-service. (Especially during summer a salad in a jar is a paying investment: we can prepare 2-3 jars & open one after the other (aka it’s always fresh!).)


The businesswoman with too many office hours thinks

The idea of a salad in a jar makes sense – it’s easy to transport wherever I may need to go! The salad stays fresh, no mushiness, no stickiness…

However, if time were limited – as always – I could stir-fry everything – chicken & vegetables – in one batch. Okay – it’s mixed afterwards & in the jar there’ll be only 3 layers – but the prep time will go down considerably… the dressing stays on bottom, the pasta is the delimiter… as I stated: no mushiness!


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