Let me start by saying that WHENEVER I make/eat/see something that is like, "ASIAN BLAH BLAH BLAH!" I can't help but think of Margaret Cho's 'Asian Chicken Salad' bit and it cracks me up. It does seem kind of silly to just throw a blanket over your dish by calling it "Asian," since Asian food varies so greatly from region to region, but once I start breaking out the fish sauce, it's certainly not my Aunt Margaret's pasta salad.
So, OH HEY! Did you know that it was 105ºf here in Portland today?! Yeah. So, this morning, when I woke up (to my still-sweltering hot apartment, WTF?!) I cooked a big pot of noodles in preparation for tonight's dinner, so I could have them cold and ready to go without having to turn on the stove at all.
Dumping of many condiments and chopping of many vegetables later, I had this bomb noodle salad that my husband and I sucked down in moments, relishing a cold but filling dinner on such a gnarly day. Even my son had some, and he's sort of picky about what happens to his noodles.
So, you should make this tomorrow because it's supposed to be over 100 again. PFFFT!
Aaaaaasian Noodle Salad?
About a pound of spaghetti, cooked and chilled. (I know this is a no-brainer but rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process or else the noodles will get mushy.)
1 large carrot, grated
1 small/medium zucchini, grated
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 or 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 whole bunch of scallions
a handful of chopped fresh cilantro
For the dressing:
(I actually measured this out while I was making it FOR YOUR BENEFIT.)
2 tbsp. sesame oil
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1/4 tsp. fish sauce (you can use a little more if you want, but I usually go easy because it's so high in sodium)
juice of one small lime (my lime wasn't very juicy though. maybe like half a lime?)
drizzle of honey
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 chunk of fresh ginger, finely minced (like a tablespoon or two's worth?)
1/2 tsp. sambal olek (chili sauce)
Mix together in a small bowl with a fork, and taste to make sure it's delicious. Adjust as necessary. Mix all the other stuff in a large bowl, then dump the dressing over it and combine. Top with toasted cashews and more chopped scallions, and try to pretend like your ass hasn't melted into your chair.
Finish with a trip to the gelato shop down the street, and eat the leftovers at 11 p.m. in your underwear. Ta daa!