asian noodle salad with peanut dressing
This month’s Daring Cooks challenge set by Margie and Natashya, is an unusual one – making and cooking with nut butters. I tweaked the Asian Noodle Salad given, using peanut instead of cashew butter, and replaced the suggested prawns and red peppers with chicken and carrots. I also brightened it up with some chopped mint, fiery chillies and a dash of fish sauce. The refreshing noodle salad made for a very satisfying and simple (even more so if you cheat and use store-bought nut butter) summer lunch. It’d also be a perfect light supper, and a great addition to a picnic spread.
Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing
1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
120ml (1/2 cup) peanut butter*
60ml (1/4 cup) soy sauce
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
60ml (1/4 cup) water
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
225g (1/2 lb) thin flat rice noodles
1 small thai chilli, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh mint, shredded
2 tbsp basil, shredded
1 cucumber, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
to serve (optional):
First make the peanut dressing. Blitz all the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Adjust thickness if necessary by adding more water or peanut butter (it should be thick enough to coat the noodles nicely). Taste and add more soy or sugar as necessary.
Prepare the rice noodles according to packet instructions then refresh cooked noodles under cold water and drain.
Toss cooled noodles with all remaining ingredients and drizzle over as much dressing as desired. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve with the lime wedges on the side.
* to make 1/2 cup of peanut butter grind 1 cup of peanuts in a food processor for 2-3 minutes until smooth, if desired add a little oil (a teaspoon at a time) to facilitate the process.