Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chow Mein Salad, perfect for a summer heat wave

When its a bajillion degrees here in the SGV the last thing I want is hot food.  Cold Salads are so much more agreeable and it doesn't involve standing over a hot stove. A total win.

This salad is labor intensive.  I'm not sure where I got the recipe from but its tasty and a good stand by.  Most of the ingredients can be found in your local groc these days in the Asian section.  The veggies were chosen because they looked good and were all peak of season fresh. You can sub in whatever you find that looks good, just remember that the final measurement of fresh cut veg will be about 6 cups.

I like the salad as is.  If you aren't a cilantro fan cut back on the amount.  Ditto the Sriracha sauce.  My better half thinks the salad needs more crunch and often adds the fried chow mein noodles or fried wonton skins to the salad.  I think the veggies have enough crunch so I don't add any noodles/wontons.  Its a personal preference and go for it if you want.

Sesame oil comes in two varieties, regular and toasted.  The toasted is darker in color and nuttier and is my preference.  When using Sesame Oil in dressing remember a little goes a long, long way.  Too much and its floral qualities overtake the dressing and that's all you taste.  Moderation with this one, and that's a good thing to as it is a relatively expensive oil.

Chow Mein Salad

  • 2 pks chow mein noodles (8 oz)
  • 1 hothouse cucumber
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 bunch radish
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1/3 c rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T Sriracha hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/2 t salt

Cook noodles according to package direction in salted water.  Rinse under cold water to cool after they are cooked through.
Cut cucumber, carrots and bell pepper into match sticks sized pieces.  Slice radish thin (I use a mandolin). Thin slice green onion including tops.   Coarse chop the cilantro leaves.  Add veggies and cilantro to the cooled noodles and toss to combine.

Mix vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sriracha and salt.  Pour over noodle mixture and toss to combine.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours so it is well chilled and the flavors meld.

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