Tuesday, July 28, 2009

asian noodle salad

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

27 comments:

Cate said...

I have been making a TON of noodle salads like this lately. I like using soba noodles in mine.

Blue is Bleu said...

I kind of cringe when I see the word 'Asian' slapped on a recipe for the exact reason you cited (I'm Chinese). But I do like the list of ingredients you've got there... esp the sambal olek and sesame oil yummmm! :)

Jess said...

I'm "sort of picky about what happens to my noodles" too, but this recipe looks promising. Especially that part about eating the leftovers in my underwear.

mlle noelle said...

I had to laugh when I read the thing about measuring the dressing "for your benefit". I do the exact same thing- my habit is to add a splash of this and a dash of that until it tastes right to me, and then I have to backtrack if I want to post it as a blog recipe and figure out how much of everything I used. :)

Loulou said...

Not as hot here, but I made something similar yesterday.
We don't cook on the stove much in the summer as our little house just gets too hot!
I'm bookmarking this recipe for the future. Hopefully my ass won't melt into the chair though.

(Love Margaret Cho!)

nobunny said...

When it's hot I cannot eat at all. Usually I'll just have a piece of fruit. Those noodles look great, though.

Maija said...

I like the underwear part! I'm usually a fairly proper girl, even around the house. But this weather has broken me down - it's been pretty much a permanent no-pants party at my house this week. The minute I get home, trousers (or skirt, etc) drop. It's just the only way to feel any comfort in this stagnant heat. Probably TMI but I feel safe announcing this on the internets somewhat anonymously!

mina said...

fuck, if it's got sesame oil and sambal oelek, even i'd call it asian. and i'm korean. btw i used this sauce but on soba noodles+cilantro+grated zucchini. stellar! thanks. (:

Rebekka said...

Just made it. Deelicious.

Cucinista said...

I have been cooking "Asian" salads lately. Don't have an excuse since the thermometer hasn't cracked 65 here in London this summer -- no excuse except that I love the flavors. I also chuckled about your no-measure dressing. I'm not sure I could make my usual dressing if I tried to measure.

laura said...

oh cho!

Fabienne said...

Sounds delicious - very 'fusion' (another overused piece of vocab in the cuisine area) - and I'm having a lot of fun reading about your cooking for super-hot weather in this very crisp, clear Sydney winter (19C and sunny today but chilly wind when it blows)- I'll be referring back to these recipes in about 3.5 months time when we're all peeling ourselves off the furniture! :)

Jen ~ Localette said...

we made this last night and your dressing was awesome! I've always tried to do some asian-peanut butter dressing with my noodle salad, but this works waaaay better. for once, we didn't have leftovers from this dish, haha ;)
stay safe in that wretched heat. hopefully it will be over soon....

Karen said...

awesome last line. do you buy some of your "asian" stuff at int'l markets?

isn't global warming a bitch? we'd better watch out ... or shape up fast.

Alicia Lynn Carrier said...

karen, we pop into fubonn every once in awhile. and all this global warming stuff is cracking me up- i've lived in oregon my entire life, and EVERY YEAR it breaks 100, and EVERY year, people start going on about global warming. haha!

ab said...

Thanks for the idea of using zucchini in this salad. I"m up to my freakin' eyeballs in zucchini, and frankly, I"m not all that into it but this is one way I really liked it. Mostly because I didn't much notice it.

Anyway, great recipe, which I followed to the letter tonight and I also plan on taking your advice about eating the leftovers while in my undies.

spoonful said...

I enjoyed this entry on many levels. I sometimes get annoyed when 'asian' is slapped onto things, but hey, it's a give and take society. now, when a person calls me a 'chink' that's a whole 'nother story. ;)

thanks for the recipe! :)

Alicia Lynn Carrier said...

spoonful: ugh, i hope nobody calls you that!

aileen said...

is this chili sauce the regular SWEET chili sauce you see in most oriental cuisine?

Alicia Lynn Carrier said...

i don't know dude, it was sambal olek. google it.

ellan said...

just made this.....amazing! thanks so much for the recipe (and measurements!) :)

ahalya said...

Gahaha I love Margaret Cho... and this noodle salad looks sublime!

delightfullysweet said...

This noodle salad looks amazing. I love a good salad when it is warm out..

RockAByeDad said...

Love you blog - the food look so delicious! We'll have to give this noodle recipe a go!

Lonely Foodie said...

I made this (with tweaks, of course) and it was so good. Not surprisingly, it got better the longer it sat. I ate it over the course of two days and it was lip-smackingly tasty. Mmm, wish I could eat some right now.

cookinginjapan said...

I made this with udon the other day and it was delish! Thanks for posting.

Ann said...

i just found your blog and im god damn hungry now !