Los Angeles is having a fierce heat wave and it’s hot, hot, hot here. Last night, at 8pm, it was 98 degrees. So I’m making something cool and peanuty and crunchy for lunch – a cold noodle salad with peanut sauce and vegetables. This is a colorful, refreshing salad featuring cold noodles, a light peanut sauce and lots of fresh, crunchy vegetables.
The peanut dressing is a light sauce with a hint of sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. It’s not a heavy, thick sauce – it lightly coats the noodles. The vegetables are crunchy and cool – bright green edamame, pale green cucumbers, red peppers, orange carrots and green scallions – they’re a colorful bunch. I carefully sliced the cucumber, red peppers and carrot as thin and evenly as I could – I was going for matchstick thin slices – and tried to keep them roughly the same size and length. A sprinkle of chopped peanuts at the end adds some additional crunch and a little more peanut flavor to the salad.
A couple of notes:
After cooking the noodles, you’re going drain them in a colander and then rinse them under cold water to cool them off. If for some reason you leave them for a bit and they stick together – no worries – just rinse them again under a little cold water and they will all magically unstick.
You want to toss the cold noodles first with the peanut sauce. Add a little bit of sauce at a time as you toss so all the noodles are evenly coated. Once all the noodles are covered in the peanut sauce, add the vegetables and give it a final toss. Make sure to use a large bowl so you have lots of room for all the ingredients.
You can use smooth or chunky peanut butter for the dressing. I used a natural chunky peanut butter.
I left the white part of the scallion out since I feel it’s too strong and I wanted the peanut flavor to shine through. So only use the green part of the scallions.
When you pulse the peanuts (to add as a topping) in the food processor – be careful not to process too long – otherwise you’ll end up with peanut butter.
This cold noodle salad with peanut sauce and vegetables is great the next day. If you’re refrigerating it for any length of time – keep the chopped peanut topping separate – they don’t refrigerate well with the sauce – they lose their crunch.
|Cold Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce and Vegetables|| |
- 8 oz of thin pasta - I used thin spaghetti - cooked as per box instructions.
- ½ cucumber - peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 carrot - peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 small red pepper - seeded and thinly sliced
- ¾ cup of shelled edamame beans - I used fresh ones from Trader Joe's
- 3 thin scallions - green part only - sliced thinly
- 2 tbs peanut butter - chunky or smooth is okay
- 2 tbs dark sesame oil
- 1 tbs light soy sauce
- 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbs water
- ¼ cup peanuts - dry roasted or blistered peanuts
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water and set aside.
- Slice the cucumber, carrot and red pepper into thin matchstick shapes all roughly the same size - set aside.
- Slice scallions thinly and set aside.
- Measure out edamame and set aside.
- Add peanut butter, dark sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes and water to a small jar. Shake vigorously until combined.
- Pulse ¼ cup of peanuts in a food processor until they are finely chopped.
- In a large bowl, add cold pasta. Toss with peanut sauce - a bit at a time - until all combined. Add all veggies to the pasta with peanut sauce and toss to combine.
- For each serving, sprinkle a little bit of chopped peanuts on top.