Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What's for dinner on a hot summer night?

It's not scorching hot outside but hot enough for the kitchen to heat up quickly when cooking dinner.  So what do you make that will be fulfilling and won't heat up your kitchen but will heat up your taste buds?  How about a Cold Asian Noodle salad?

In a use what you got moment I thought an Asian salad would fit the bill.   I had rice noodles in my pantry and a few vegetables and I always have all kinds of sauces and vinegars on hand to add flavour to my dishes.

I thought this was going to be a pretty quick easy meal but because I added a bunch of things I was a little hot by the end of it.   And then I tried it and my lips were on fire.   I didn't want to have a bland tasteless noodle salad since rice noodles don't have much flavour, so I jacked up the heat with some Siracha pepper sauce.  It's great for fat burning and eating spicy foods is supposed to cool the body down by making you sweat...  so it's all good.

I started by covering the noodles in a bowl with boiling water and let them sit for about 15-20 min.. then I drained them.

I had snow peas and could have added them raw but I blanched them just to make them a bit more green and a bit softer.

So I had to cook 2 things to make this dish.. well one was blanching.. for the snow peas and the other was using the same water from the snow peas to cook some frozen uncooked shrimp.  

This would have been a great leftover dish if I would have had leftover chicken or shrimp already on hand.

I chopped up the following:

1 green onion
half of a red pepper
1 baby cucumber
bunch of cilantro
a piece of red onion
I used a potato peeler to cut a carrot

I peeled about half a dozen shrimp
and cut the snow peas in half

For the dressing:

zest of one lime
lime juice of 2 limes
about 6 or 7 drops of sesame oil
a couple of tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp siracha chili sauce
2 garlic gloves grated
1 tsp of fresh ginger grated
1 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of fish sauce

Once the noodles are soft, strain them and place in a big bowl.  Pour half the dressing on the noodles and toss to coat.  Then toss in the remainder of the vegetables and the shrimp or tofu or chicken.. whatever you have.  Pour the rest of the dressing over and toss the whole thing.   It's easier to coat the noodles by tossing them in the dressing before adding the rest and then you can judge how much extra dressing to add to the vegetables.

So that's about it.  You can refrigerate it and let the flavours blend together or have it right away.  It can be eaten cold or at room temperature so it makes a great make and take meal.  Great to take to work for lunch the next day.

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