With the holiday coming up, I’m craving what seems to be commonly dubbed Cold “Asian” Peanut Noodle salad. This is a great dish for a party, cook out or a potluck, Really, you never know who might show up at a party and this is popular with vegetarians and meat eaters, alike.
This Cold Asian Noodle Salad is loaded with all kinds of very delicious and good for you stuff and a lot of fantastic flavor. It can pass off easily as a main dish or a side. It’s chock full of vegetables, cool, creamy, crunchy and delicious, with just the faintest hint of spiciness.
You may have noticed the little quotation marks under “Asian” at the top of the page. This type of “peanut sauce” is riff off the real thing: lime stands in for Kafir lime leaves, molasses for tamarind, peanut butter for roasted and ground peanuts. To see an actual recipe for peanut sauce, I recommend the Asian Grandmother, one of my favorite blogs.
That doesn’t mean the peanut sauce in this Cold Asian Noodle Salad is any less delish than an “authentic” Asian peanut sauce. But it does mean you’ll probably find all the ingredients in the local grocery store. (Maybe I should call it Minasian – Minnesota Asian? Naw…)
Be sure to play with your food – you’ll probably want to customize and add a little more of this or that until you reach your “Ah yes.” moment. Myself, I like a good splash more of vinegar and quite a bit more chili paste. Just keep in mind the peanut sauce flavors the whole Cold Asian Noodle Salad, so you want it intense enough to carry the pasta.
I make sure to garnish with the peanuts – that’s going to flag anyone who has an allergy. Other than that, go wild with this and add more or less of any of the veggies, using ones that you like. I’m kind of a stickler for quickly blanching the snow peas and giving them a slice or two. It makes them so much easier to eat and gives them a gorgeous color. If you haven’t tried doing that, give it a go and see what you think.
Watch for great sales prices on the vegetables for this salad, and make it seasonally, using what’s at hand, and it will come in at a budget price. As far as the noodles and peanut butter, they’re pretty much staples that last for a good amount of time. Cut your coupons and wait for a good sale and stock up at a low. Freeze any products containing flour for three days when they come into your home and you’ll have no worries.
Cold Asian Peanut Noodle Salad
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (choose a good one)
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced into a paste
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Sherry
- 1 lime, cut in half, 1/2 for serving and the juice and finely grated zest of the other for the sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1 to 3 teaspoons chile paste
- 4 to 8 ounces Udon noodles (or substitute soba, spaghetti or linguine, broken in half)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 small head of cabbage, sliced very thinly
- 2 bell peppers, red or orange or combination, sliced thinly, vertically, then in 1/2
- 5 – 6 radishes, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup snow peas, blanched and sliced the long way, one or two cuts
- 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
- roughly crushed or chopped peanuts for garnish
- a few green onions, thinly sliced for garnish, optional
- Remaining 1/2 lime, cut into wedges for serving
Bring salted water to a boil; blanch snow peas for a minute and then plunge into ice water. Cook noodles to al dente in the boiling water according to the package directions. Drain and cool with running cold water. After they’ve sat for a few minutes and the excess water has drained off, toss with a teaspoon of the sesame oil.
Mix sauce ingredients together, taste and adjust. Thin with a bit of hot water if necessary – you’ll want it thick enough to coat the vegetables and noodles, but not so thick it that it stiffens up when cold.
Prepare vegetables. In a large bowl (I generally use the pot I cooked the noodles in so as not to dirty another dish) toss all ingredients, except the garnishes, together. Serve cold, topped with crushed peanuts, thinly sliced green onion and a wedge of lime.
from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com
I’ll be bringing this recipe to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #187, hosted this week by Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju.com and Sadhna @ Herbs, Spices and Tradition. Pop by Fiesta Friday to see what everyone else is sharing and take a peek at our co-hosts blogs, too.
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe
- Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
Cooking & Kitchen Hacks
Ignore Lime color when buying. Pick up several and buy the ones that feel “heavy” for their size – those are the ones that are full of juice. The lime, above, was almost yellow and one of the juiciest limes I’ve ever used. Click here for more hacks!
Put Your own Spin on It
- I don’t think there is any “right” or “wrong” way of making this dish. Recipes may have garlic, ginger, Shaoxing wine, Mirin, honey, soy sauce, Kafir lime leaves, & Sriracha in addition to the above ingredients.
- Choose your favorite vegetables. Broccoli comes to mind, cut small and quickly blanched. Mung bean sprouts, water chestnuts, daikon, carrots – use what you like!
- The noodles, too, seem to differ in every recipe – Udon, Soba, or even plain old pasta – use what you like and what’s available.
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 13 g||21 %|
|Saturated Fat 2 g||10 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 1 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 626 mg||26 %|
|Potassium 230 mg||7 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 28 g||9 %|
|Dietary Fiber 6 g||24 %|
|Sugars 4 g|
|Protein 7 g||14 %|
|Vitamin A||3 %|
|Vitamin C||75 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|