Saturday, September 28, 2013

Gingered Noodle Salad

We've had a wonderful day. Our final destination was a place called Delta Ponds, which is a habitat that's been created adjacent to a stretch of the Willamette River here in town. The ponds are teeming with life at this time of year. So are our grandsons. They needed to burn a little excess energy, so we hiked about five miles of the river trail to get there. They were good, though tired, sports when they realized we could have driven to the ponds directly and they had been tricked. They'll sleep well tonight. So will I. Tucked into the picnic hamper were the remains of the noodle salad I talked about earlier in the week and promised to share with you today. This is very easy to make and uses ingredients that can be found in any major supermarket. If you are unable to find seasoned rice wine vinegar, combine three parts rice wine or cider vinegar with one part of sugar and a big pinch of salt and you'll be fine. If you are unable to find a mango, substitute thin slices of fresh pineapple. The pineapple is not traditional, but it's PDG and works well in this salad. The salad can be held for a day or two before it becomes unappetizing. It works really well as a base for the Chicken Rissoles we featured yesterday. As you skim through the ingredient list, you see that this gorgeous salad is low in fat and calories, as well as being delicious. It is, however, a bit more sour than most salads of this type. I hope you'll give this recipe a try. Paired with a small portion of meat or poultry it makes for a wonderful light summer meal. Here's the recipe.

Gingered Noodle Salad



6 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1-1/2 to 3 teaspoons chopped peeled fresh ginger

1 teaspoon minced fresh jalape?o chile, including seeds, or to taste

2 teaspoons chopped garlic


8 ounces bean thread (cellophane) noodles

1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced diagonally

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced diagonally (1 cup)

1 firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced

2 thin carrots, very thinly sliced diagonally

1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs


1) To make vinaigrette: Blend all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until smooth.

2) To make noodles: Soak noodles in cold water in a bowl until pliable, about 15 minutes, then drain in a colander. Cut noodles in half with scissors. Cook noodles in a 4-quart pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain noodles in colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain noodles again well, then spread out on paper towels and blot excess liquid.

3) To assemble salad: Toss noodles with dressing in a bowl. Add cucumber, scallions, mango, and carrots and gently toss until just combined. Serve topped with cilantro sprigs. Yield: 6 servings.

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