A salad made with cold cooked noodles and whatever salad vegetables I have in the fridge has long been a favourite lunch of mine. The noodles cook in the few minutes it takes me to chop the vegetables. Once mixed together I’d add a handful of nuts, a couple of dashes of soy sauce, a bit of chilli sauce and I was good to go. There’s all the benefits of a salad but with the filling qualities of noodles.
I was happy with that until I found this recipe for noodles with spicy sesame sauce at the Asian Vegan Eats blog. I didn’t have any sesame paste in the store cupboard but I did have peanut butter so I asked if it would work with that rather than the sesame paste. She said it would, and very kindly gave me the proportions to use. It may be the kind of peanut butter I used but I found that recipe (equal quantities of peanut butter, soy and black vinegar) to be too vinegary for me, so I’ve halved the amount of vinegar.
I used peanut butter without added sugar. If yours has added sugar, I’d taste before I adding any extra sugar to the sauce. You may find you need more vinegar. The idea is to coat the salad ingredients in the sauce, so if it’s too thick, thin it down by adding water a little at a time until it’s the consistency you need.
I’ve used soba noodles here, but it will be fine with any dried noodle down to and including the cheap packet instant noodles from the supermarket (don’t use the flavour sachet).
100g soba noodles
2 spring onions, finely shredded
1/4 cucumber, deseeded & cut into strips
1/2 red pepper, deseeded & cut into strips
1 little gem lettuce, finely shredded
1 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chinese black vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions.
Drain them and rinse under cold water until they are cold.
Toss the noodles and the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
Make the sauce by combining the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and chilli.
Stir until smooth.
Taste and add the sugar if necessary.
Add a little water if the sauce is too thick.
Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir until everything is coated.