Saturday, April 2, 2011

Asian Sesame Noodle Salad

It was 85 degrees here yesterday!  Actually the weather has been just beautiful all week.  It's a bit unusual to have temps in the 80s for this time of year, but I'm not complaining.  When the weather is this nice, you really don't want to be spending a lot of time in a hot kitchen and so this dish is just perfect for warm weather.  The key to making this salad is to let it marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator before serving to let the flavors combine.

You can use any type of noodles you like in this recipe, but I prefer to use 100% whole wheat spaghetti.  The same goes for the vegetables as well.  These are my favorite, but you can substitute any veges you like!


1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3/4 cup organic soy sauce
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 tsp freshly grated ginger root
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp agave syrup
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  If you're using plain extra firm tofu, you can add it at this time to let it marinate while preparing the other ingredients.

Salad Ingredients

1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti
1 cup baked or extra firm organic tofu, diced
1/2 cup frozen organic edamame, shelled 
1/2 cup baby carrots, sliced on a bias
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup green beans cut into 2" pieces, either fresh or frozen
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups baby bok choy, sliced into quarters, length wise
1 scallion, thinly sliced on a bias
1 tbsp dark or light sesame seeds, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste

  • In a large 5qt pot, bring water to a rapid boil, season with salt (it should taste like the ocean) and cook pasta until al dente.  Rinse pasta under cold water for about five minutes to remove starch.  Drain really well--you want to remove as much water as possible so that the sauce will coat the noodles.  Place pasta in a large bowl and set aside.
  • In separate batches, steam broccoli, carrots, green beans (if using fresh), and bok choy just until tender, about 2 minutes each.  Immediately immerse in an ice bath to stop the cooking and dry on paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • Add all ingredients to pasta, including tofu and marinade and toss really well.  Check for seasoning and add salt if needed.
  • Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving, tossing frequently to coat all of the vegetables.
  • Taste for seasoning again and garnish with toasted sesame and scallions. 

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