The recipe that we are about to prepare today is an inspiration from a long time friend of mine. She introduced me to Asian style salads more than 20 years ago. Although I have made changes, added this and subtracted that, I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t share the creation of this recipe with her. To this day, this is still one of my all time favorite salads. Thanks Ms. H.T.
I call this recipe pure and simple, Asian Sesame Noodle Salad. There are many versions of noodle salads out there; however, I think you’ll find this one to be absolutely delightful. If you like a bit of hot and a lot of Asian, you will certainly agree. Furthermore, I have found that you can heat this up and serve it as a side dish, making this salad very versatile. Finally, I can safely say in continuing with our theme of simplicity, this recipe is very easy to put together. Here’s what we need:
1 package of Chow Mien Noodles (12 oz.)
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup of green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup of fresh baby spinach leaves, rolled and julienned
1/4 cup of fresh parsly, finely chopped
1/4 cup of pimientos
1/4 cup of sesame oil
1/8 cup of rice vinegar
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons of dry pepper flakes (for heat)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/3 cup of toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of ginger paste
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Get all your ingredients together and get all your chopping out of the way. In a large pot, boil water with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and add your noodles. Chow Mien noodles, even though they are dry, tend to cook much faster that regular noodles. With that said, you want to boil them for only about 4 to 5 minutes because you want them to be al dente, not overcooked and mushy. While noodles are cooking, get a bowl of ice water ready. At the 4 minute mark, check the noodles for doneness. If ready, immediately strain them and then transfer them to the ice water. You may need to add more ice to keep the water cold. Set the bowl aside to allow for complete cooling.
Set a small frying pan on a burner set to high. Once heated, add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil to the pan and quick saute your shallots and garlic for only 30 seconds. Remove and pour into a large mixing bowl. In the mixing bowl, add all the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT THE SESAME SEEDS, and whisk briskly so that ingredients are well blended. Once noodles are cooled, drain liquid through a strainer and rinse noodles with cold running water. Add noodles to mixing bowl with ingredients and toss well so everything is completely blended. Finally, add the sesame seeds and toss gently. Pour salad into a nice serving platter and sprinkle of few more sesame seeds and serve. There you have it. It's that simple. And it tastes so good, your guests won't believe how quick it was to make.
Serve with a nice Saki, chilled prawns with a dipping sauce of of ginger vinegrette and finish with a green tea sorbet. For the dipping sauce, use 1 part sesame oil, 1 part rice vinegar, 1/2 part water, 1 teaspoon of ginger paste, 1 teaspoon of honey, and whisk until well blended. Enjoy.