Monday, September 21, 2009
Thai (ish) Noodle Salad
Hey! It's getting warmer, and warm weather = noodle salad time.
This is a basic noodle salad guide, but put in there whatever floats your boat. Bean shoots, tofu, chicken, cucumber, shredded carrot, lime, mushrooms, zucchini etc...all make good noodle salad additions.
I follow a loosely Thai theme for the dressing. Andrew was watching me make this and he said 'Sugar! Why are you putting sugar in the salad?' - it's to balance the flavours. Lemon or lime for sour, fish sauce or soy sauce for salty, sugar for sweet, sesame oil for nutty and chilli paste for hot. You can't taste the sugar when everything is mixed together, the flavours are just more balanced and complex.
Thai(ish) Noodle Salad
Serves 2 hungry people, or more people, if those people are good at sharing
Noodles (enough for 2) - I suggest somen, soba, rice vermicelli, sweet potato noodles or thin rice noodles
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
juice of one lemon or lime
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon chilli paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
3 tablespoons crushed peanuts
Vegetables - I used a bunch of bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and a tomato I had hanging around
Protein element - I added a tin of tuna (that ol' standard), but consider strips of tofu fried in a bit of soy and sesame oil, or chicken done a similar way
In a large bowl mix together sesame oil, sauces, lemon juice, sesame seeds, chilli paste, ginger and sugar.
Boil the noodles as per the packet, drain and rinse under cold water. Prepare your vegetables to the state where they are good to be eaten - for example, just cut up cucumber into strips, but other vegies such as bok choy or zucchini can do with a little steaming or boiling. You know what I mean.
Stir the prepared vegies, coriander and noodles into the bowl with the dressing in it. Stir through the tin of tuna or some chicken or tofu. Another idea is to cook a fillet of fish quickly in a bit of soy sauce and then separate it into flakes, and then stir it through.
Have a taste of a noodle and see if the dressing is working for you. Add a bit more of whatever it needs.
Serve it up and then sprinkle generously with crushed peanuts or sesame seeds.
Summery goodness! Oh, please ignore the torrential rain in the background whilst I write this, my meals might be getting a bit ahead of the seasons...