Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cold Rice Noodle Salad

I bought a couple cookbooks the other day. One of them was Bowl by Lukas Volger -- vegetarian versions of many asian one-bowl dishes such as pho, ramen, etc. On first glance, the recipes seemed a bit more ingredient and labor intensive than I had hoped, and I was a bit disappointed until I found this one, which I immediately made for dinner. It's perfect, easy providing you own a mandoline, fresh, healthy and restaurant-quality. I also think it would make a great layered jar salad, I will try that sometime. I can't wait to try more of these recipes.

Cold Rice Noodle Salad


-- 1 serrano chili, seeded if desired, coarsely chopped (I left this out)
-- 1 clove garlic, chopped
-- 1 T. chopped fresh ginger
-- 3 T. brown sugar
-- 1/2 cup boiling water
-- 3 T. soy sauce
-- zest and juice of 1 lime

-- 8 ounces dried medium-width rice noodles or rice vermicelli

-- 1 firm kirby cucumber (or 3 small persian cucumbers) peeled (I did not peel mine)
-- 1 medium carrot, peeled
-- 8 ounces smoked or baked tofu (I used regular tofu, which fell apart)
-- 4 cups shredded crisp lettuce, such as butter, boston, romaine or iceberg
-- 1 red, orange, or yellow belle pepper, cored and sliced into thin strips
-- 2 scallions, green and white parts, sliced on the bias
-- 1 cup chopped herbs such as cilantro, mint, or basil
-- 1/4 c. coarsely chopped peanuts, for garnish


-- Combine chili, garlic and ginger in a mortar and mound into a rough paste using a pestle. (Alternatively, mince and mash the mixture using a chef's knife) Combine in a small bowl with the brown sugar and the water. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then add the soy sauce and lime zest and juice. You should have about 3/4 cup sauce. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but ideally for a few hours.

-- Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water, then drain thoroughly and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

-- Cut cucumber in half and scoop out seeds with a spoon (I used small persian cucumbers and did not do this). Use a mandoline to slice the cucumber and carrot into long thin strands. Cut the tofu into matchsticks.

-- Divide the lettuce among four bowls, then top each serving with the cold noodles. Arrange the cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, tofu, and scallions over the noodles in each bowl, then garnish with herbs and peanuts. Pass the dipping sauce at the table for guests to pour over their salad, or serve in small bowls for dipping.

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