Here is a recipe that I made from time to time in the summer, it requires a little bit of cooking - making the noodle. There is a bit of chopping and cutting, otherwise it is a simple recipe. It is a great summer dish for a pot-luck. This is why I am making this!
My big Samoa braddah introduced me to a Chinese BBQ Hiep Thanh BBQ and Deli in Brooklyn Park, North Minneapolis. It is ran by a Vietnamese Chinese family. The nicest people and great food too! They makes Char Sui, Chinese roast pork. I got some for this salad. You can always replace the meat with rotisserie chicken. I make this vegan sometime with no meat at all. I would however replace the meat with julienne carrot, pea pods and celery.
As with the dressing, you will notice I am using a few South East Asian herbs and spices, my other "Southern" root. Lemon grass, galanga and keffir leaves are all favorites of Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian cooking. I am very luck to have a keffir plant. If fresh is not available in your Asian store, check the frozen food section, you may find it there.
You will also notice that I am not salting the noodle or the vegetable. I found the salt draws too much moisture out of the the vegetable. I would rather keep the vegetable crispy and let the dressing carries the saltiness. It will balance out once you have everything tossed together.
If you decide to make ahead, separate the noodle vegetable mix and the dressing on the side, toss when ready to serve. If you are going to make it a day ahead, please chop and mix in the herbs with you are able to serve. The herbs will loss its flavor if they are cut and store overnight.
Summer Asian Noodle Salad
1 lb bag precooked Hong Kong style Shanghai noodle, you can also use Filipino Pan cit here too.
1/2 lb (about 1 cup shredded) Chinese Char Sui - BBQ pork or other kind of meat of your choice. shredded or julienned.
1 red bell pepper, cleaned, remove stem, seed and julienne
1 cup seedless cucumber (about 1 English cucumber), cleaned and julienne1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, save a few sprig for garnish
1/2 cup roughly chopped Thai basil save a few leaves for garnish
1/4 cup roughly chopped mint, save a few sprig for garnish.
2 fresh keffir leave (option), thinly shredded
Dressing1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 cup palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 tbsp shoyu
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp galangal powder
2 Tbsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanut
1 bag of fried plantain, crushed or fried crunchy noodles
In a large measuring cup, mix peanut butter with crushed garlic
In a large pot, bring to boil 6 cups of water. Drop the noodle in the water to reheat and "wash".
Drain and rinse the noodle under cold water. Unlike Italian cooking, we need to remove the starch from the Asian noodle, it will have a crisp feel to it. Drain and set aside.
Place bean sprouts, cucumber and red pepper in a salad spinner, remove as much water as possible with couple of "spin cycles". Repeat the same process with the cabbage to remove the water.
Pile the noodle in a large serving bowl. Drizzle the rest of the dressing over the top. Chill in the fridge for about an hour. You can have the toppings served on the side or sprinkle on the dish just before serving.
Serve 8 as a main course for good eater. You can always half the recipe. The dressing can be keep in the jar with a tight lid in the fridge. Use within a week.