Cold Asian Noodle Salad- A beautiful, healthy dish with tons of flavor

19 Mar

Let me just say first that this dish was a hit with my family! Even my little brother loved it- vegetables and all! It’s a very simple dish to make, as you will see outlined below. This is one of the only recipes that I have kept from my cooking club days at UCLA. We used to gather as a group at a member’s apartment and try out different recipes. We made note of our favorites and adapted them into meals for various cooking classes that we would host in the spacious kitchens of the international student building. We had dishes that were hits, and those that were blatant misses (one of them was a chicken mole made with chocolate. It tasted weird, and someone had the idea to cook the chicken in the microwave since we were trying to adapt this recipe for dorm dwellers. Needless to say, it was pretty gross). This recipe was one of the hits, and it comes from our Asian themed night. It’s a dish that’s visually appealing and full of flavor. The variety of raw veggies and soba (buckwheat) noodles are ingredients that are not only healthy, but provide enough bulk to make you feel full and satisfied.  The peanuts are a great addition, adding a nice crunch and making each bite of this dish even more delicious.  

I shopped for most of the ingredients at my local Ranch 99, which is an expansive Asian supermarket with everything you could possibly need for cooking Asian dishes, and more. I couldn’t help but walk by the seafood section a couple times to gawk at the bloody fish heads and live eels. And in the veggie section, there were at least 7 different kinds of mushrooms, including a particularly thick one that resembles a miniature elephant’s trunk. I remember seeing that one being cooked by Paul on the recent season of Top Chef. The name eludes me, but I’m sure I’ll remember it later. Anyway, there was so much stuff, and a lot of it was foreign to my eyes. It just struck me that different cultures draw upon many different kinds of ingredients; while I feel completely comfortable shopping at an Indian supermarket, I feel the opposite at Ranch 99. I wouldn’t know what to do with that mushroom or with that eel swimming in the tank, but many of my fellow shoppers from that day probably do. I’m not sure if I’ll ever become that adventurous, but who knows! For now, though, I am happy with my noodle salad.

Cold Asian Noodle Salad
Can serve 4 people, but only if everyone has one serving. This was not likely for me or the members of my family, so I doubled the recipe! Feel free to use less oil, I didn’t budge past 1 tbsp sesame oil and 4 tbsp olive oil, even while I doubled everything else. Turns out just fine.
1 bunch soba noddles
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hot chili sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot, cut oblong
1 celery stalk, sliced
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup bok choy, julienned
1 cup bean sprouts
3 tbsp minced fresh cilantro leaves
3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
4 tbsp unsalted peanuts

Above is the spread of all the vegetables you will need. I doubled the recipe above, so that’s why it looks like a large heap. The measurements for the veggies are very flexible- feel free to add more of what you love, and less of what you don’t. I love my greens! 

And here’s a photo of everything you will need for this recipe, minus the peanuts and sesame seeds. I added the peanuts at the end, but unfortunately I didn’t have any sesame seeds on hand today. Make sure you do, because they will really elevate the dish and when sprinkled on give it even more visual appeal.

So I skipped all the photos of each step today because it really just boils down to the steps below:

1. Boil a large pot of water. Add the soba noodles and cook according to packet instructions.

2. Drain the noodles with cold water and set them aside.

3. Prepare the vegetable ingredients.

4. Measure each of the sauce ingredients into a medium bowl. Mix.

5. Toss the noodles with the vegetables.

6. Add the sauce and toss again.

7. Sprinkle on the peanuts and sesame seeds. (Leave a small bowl of peanuts on the dinner table for anyone who wants more, and trust me, they will!)  

And finally, eat to your heart’s content!

(Photo above was taken before the addition of the peanuts, which I managed to find later. People, make sure you have both peanuts and sesame seeds! Cannot stress that enough. They will make this dish more wonderful than it already is.)

Bon appetit! 🙂

6 Responses to “Cold Asian Noodle Salad- A beautiful, healthy dish with tons of flavor”

  1. Jay Quigs April 13, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    I’m in love! This has ultimately satisfied my pasta / Asian cuisine / Raw Vegan fetish!!!
    More importantly it’s minimal cooking (Because there’s too little time in life).
    KUDOS my dear and Thank you

    • luvnorcal April 13, 2012 at 1:36 am #

      Yay happy to hear that! 🙂 You are most certainly welcome., this recipe is really a great one cause of all the reasons you mentioned. I love how it just soaks up tons of raw veggies and gives them such great flavor. Glad you tried it and enjoyed it!

  2. Scrooples April 27, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    I will make this- sounds fantastic

    • luvnorcal April 27, 2012 at 2:32 am #

      Thanks! I can definitely say you will enjoy this one 🙂


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