Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cool Summery Asian Noodle Salad on a Hot Day

Too hot to have something heavy and bready to cook or to eat. Too. Hot. Can't. Think.Ugh.

What to make for a summer lunch? How about cold Asian noodle salad? Cold noodles may not sound fabulous, but they are cooling--and if you use rice noodles, are not too filling. The perfect complement for light summery veggies. Now mix this one up and enjoy al fresco in the shade. Ahhh. Don't you feel better?

Gather the Goodies

1/2 package pad Thai rice noodle fettuccini. You can substitute other kinds of noodles/pasta. Prepare according to package directions, and then immediately run noodles in cold tap water until the water is cold. This will stop noodles from growing and keep them cool.

Sliced deli ham, shrimp, tofu, chicken--etc. whatever you have on hand Slice into thin strips to match the noodles

Sliced vegetables, such as carrots, summer squash, cucumber, etc. Again, whatever you have on hand. I enjoyed it with carrots and cucumbers.

Japanese ginger pickles, such as kizami--the spicy, dark pink kind. You could substitute other pickles as well--just slice into thin strips as well.

Lettuce, rinsed, drained, and cut into strips

Asian Restaurant Soy-Ginger Salad Dressing

o 1 tablespoon ginger juice , from fresh ginger

o 2 tablespoons soy sauce

o 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

o 1/3 cup salad oil

o 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Assembling the Salad

Line each salad plate with a base layer of lettuce strips. In a large bowl, mix the drained cold noodles with the other salad ingredients. Whisk the salad dressing in another bowl and pour on the noodle-veggie mixture, tossing to mix. Mound the noodle veggie salad in the center of the plate, distributing the ingredients evenly for a nice presentation.


Whitney said...

How thin would you go with the "other kinds of pasta"? Could you go as thin as spaghetti? angel hair?

Or do you think, since this is served cold, that it holds up better with a wider pasta (linguine-width or fettucine-width)?

Carolyn Blount Brodersen said...

Hi, Whitney,

Doesn't matter what noodles you use, really. But whatever you choose, use the general shape of them as your guide to cutting everything else: short, chunky noodles call for short chunky other ingredients. And long, skinny ones call for julienned. Just a rule of thumb--not immutable. I use the Chinese chow mein noodles--and they do look an awful lot like spaghetti. But I would never rush to the store to get something that's close to what you already have. Experiment with what's handy! Let me know how it goes--should be great with tofu or tempeh. That salad dressing is soooo yummy. It's the dressing, really.