Making in the Kitchen: Asian Noodle Salad
So I don’t know about you, but I’ve recently fallen in love with The Pioneer Woman. I feel as though we’re kindred spirits with our love for photography and cooking — but mostly because we both live in the country. I don’t have a kitchen anywhere near as fabulous as hers, but if I squint my eyes real hard while whisking, I can imagine it. There is a recipe of Ree’s (yep, we’re on a first name basis) that has been circling around Pinterest that I’ve been dying to try. And yesterday I finally did. While I love her exact recipe, there are a few things I’d do differently next time.
**This is her exact recipe. If I were you, the first time you make it….cut the amounts in half. It makes a LOT and I’m finding that after several days of sitting in the fridge, it gets less and less appetizing.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 pkg linguine, cooked, rinsed and cooled
- 1/2 head sliced nappa cabbage
- 1/2 head sliced purple cabbage
- 1/2 bag bag spinach
- 1 whole red bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1 whole yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1 whole orange bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1 bag bean sprouts
- chopped cilantro, up to 1 bunch, to taste
- 3 whole scallions
- 3 whole cucumbers, peeled and sliced
- about 10 oz. whole cashews, lightly toasted
- 1 whole lime, juiced
- 1/2 c. olive oil (I used extra virgin.)
- 1/2 c. soy sauce
- 2 T. sesame oil
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 3 T. fresh ginger chopped (I used 2 1/4 t. ground ginger.)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 whole hot peppers or jalapeno, chopped (I used 2 red jalepeños (seeds and all), and it just had a teeny bit of kick to it. Not hot at all.)
- Handful of chopped cilantro
First, start your big pot of water boiling for the linguine. You can chop everything else up, and work on the dressing while they cook. After your noodles are done, rinse them in cold water and drain.
I’d also slice my peppers much thinner as well. As you can see, I didn’t have an orange pepper, but have got plenty of yellow ones coming out of the garden, so I just doubled up on them. Anyway, it’ll take more time, but try and slice those peppers thinner than I did, because otherwise, they’re kind of hard to eat later.
I didn’t have sprouts, but if you’ve read any of my past blogs, you know my love of cilantro…so I’ve got plenty of that to throw in! I sliced my cucumbers into quartered slices so they’re not too big for your fork.
Toss it all in a bowl with your pasta and you’re ready for dressing. By the way, this recipe makes a TON of food, so grab the biggest mixing bowl you have. I mean huge. Oh wait —the cashews! You must NOT forget the cashews.
Before you add them to the salad mix, toast them in a dry skillet on medium low for a few minutes, stirring them frequently. When you start to smell the delightful nutty flavor you can tell they’re just about done. They don’t need to be browned.
Now let’s get started on the dressing. Basically put all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk them up. And yay! I got to use my new orange mini whisk!
After you’ve whisked your dressing up, pour it over the top of your salad and get to tossin’. I had to use to big wooden spoons. This thing is full, thick and heavy. This is the kind of salad that could be eaten all week for lunch, or feed a ton of people at dinner time. It is delicious. The only negative I saw (and my husband agreed) was that it was kind of hard to eat.The noodles and peppers were hard to twirl on your fork. I think maybe the next time I make it, instead of slicing the peppers, I’ll try dicing them. And I might also try using spaghetti instead of linguine so it’s not such a thick noodle. Or perhaps we were just trying to stuff bites that were too big into our mouths because we just couldn’t eat it fast enough. It’s 10:30 in the morning as I’m typing this, and I’m thinking I might need to go to the kitchen for a little brunch of Ree’s Asian Noodle Salad!
***One more thing. I’m editing this a few days after I made my batch of salad. Unless you are feeding a very large crowd, I would strongly recommend cutting this recipe in half. I’m finding that after having it in the fridge for several days now, that the cucumbers really soak up that dressing and are starting to look a little bit funky. I would make this salad with the idea that you will eat it all within 3 days. OR….keeping the dressing on the side and adding it to each portion you dish out. Keeping the cilantro separate from the dressing and sprinkling it in later with each serving would be a good idea too. It just looks better.
The pinners were right on this one. It is a keeper.