Friday, March 14, 2008

Asian Noodle Salad

Part of my quest for Spring has led me into the produce department more often and, even though it's not local (our ground is still frozen), it calls to me like a siren's song.

When I read Pioneer Woman's recent post on an Asian Noodle Salad, I really wanted to try it. I don't know why, because I've never been a fan of cold noodle salads.

To be fair, I've tried one; it was on a cold, rainy day in Atlanta. Cold noodle salads are best enjoyed during hot weather. At least that's what I'm told.

So I cranked up the furnace and made it anyway here at Chez W for some pals that came for lunch.

They loved it! It was a huge hit--beautiful to behold, and plentiful. My guests had three platefuls each, at least. Not that I was counting or anything.

I'll admit that I'm rather ambivalent about the salad, however. It was good. It was a salad.

It definitely reminded me of my years in South Korea--the dressing embodies the flavors of a good bulgogi marinade.

I warn you--this is an EXPENSIVE salad to make. The grocery bill for all the stuff was about $25. So this is probably best made when you have some garden bounty to use! (And sorry, folks--the dressing will give you some serious bad breath--have mints or gum available, please!)



Asian Noodle Salad
Serves 6 generously
Adapted from
Pioneer Woman's recipe, who adapted it from Jamie Oliver's recipe

1 head napa cabbage, sliced
1 red bell pepper (capasicum), cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 bag baby spinach
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced into rings
1 package (about 10 ounces) bean thread noodles, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes to soften (you could also use rice noodles for authentic asian cooking--otherwise a substitute of cooked pasta will work)
1 bag bean sprouts (I couldn't find any and so left them out)
toasted peanuts or cashews of choice (I omitted these)
chopped herbs: cilantro, parsley, mint, basil... whatever your heart desires (I used a parsley-mint combo, about 1/4 cup packed)

Layer everything in the biggest bowl you own; toss with hands until ingredients are well distributed. Heap onto a big platter and serve with dressing on the side.

Dressing:

8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
6 tablespoons soy sauce (I used low-salt)
1/3 cup brown sugar (I used brown sugar substitute)
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic

Combine oils and set aside; combine remaining ingredients in a food processor and puree. With processor on, pour in oil in a slow stream until it's all been incorporated. (This emulsifies the dressing so you don't have to stir it later.) Serve with salad.

4 comments:

April said...

I like your adjustments to PW's salad. Looks beautiful. I tried it too and just write a post on my blog as well!

Mrs. W said...

Thanks, April! Your salad is gorgeous, too. I sent leftovers home with my guests--good luck finishing all of yours!

The Cooking Ninja said...

This looks delicious. :)

Mrs. W said...

Thanks for stopping by, Ninja. The salad was pretty good--I bet you'd like it!

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