Sesame Noodle Salad

There’s a distinct trend to our diet these days – quick, tasty, and minimal stove top cooking. I’m surprised at how quickly this diet has taken on. What surprises me even more, is when Casey answers “Quinoa Salad” to the “what do you want for dinner” question.

This is not a quinoa salad, but a sesame noodle salad, that includes cool, crisp vegetables in a tangy sesame sauce. It’s summer in a salad. Cooling, refreshing, and it comes together in all of 10 to 15 minutes. Inspiration came from a feature in Bon Appetit’s July issue.

Sesame Noodle Salad, adapted from Bon Appetit July 2012

I found the sauce to be a bit tart, and have adjusted the measurements down from 1/3 of a cup.

  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha (Casey’s favorite)
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 8 cups of finely chopped or matchstick summer veggies, such as carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, radishes
  • 8 oz of soba noodles – udon noodles work as well, if you don’t have soba noodles on hand
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbsp white sesame seeds

Follow the directions on the package of soba noodles for more specific information. Generally, the noodles are cooked in a pot of boiling water for about 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain, then rinse again if using cold.

Combine the first four ingredients in your serving bowl. Whisk together well. This becomes especially important to ensure the sriracha is fully incorporated. Otherwise the spice-wuss in the family (that’s me, in this household!) will be the one who gets the bite full of the spicy chile sauce. Not fair.

Add the vegetables and toss in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked noodles to the vegetables, then mix in cilantro and scallions. Combine well. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the salad, and serve with a crisp glass of white wine.

It’s easy to upgrade this dish with some chicken or thinly sliced beef for a heartier meal. I recommend the following marinade from Kitchen Meets Girl.

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