I love Asian inspired salads and they seem to fit into the summer season perfectly. I especially adore udon noodles, which are a little hard to find in my small town. Are they just a big-city item? I don't understand why the regular grocery stores here are not carrying them. Udon is not an obscure item. No fear, you can substitute whole-wheat linguine if you also live in small-town America. I did finally score the udon, but had to leave the city limits to do so.
Anyway, I also used my favorite Szechuan sauce, made with Oregon Pinot Noir and a hint of chinese-five spice. Worth getting for its complexity, if you can. We also carry the sauce in our tasting room if you happen to be in the area. If not, use your favorite bottled Szechuan sauce for this recipe.
So, this is a great vegetarian main dish or make it as a side dish with an Asian chicken recipe. It's perfect either way!!
Make sure to season your broccoli perfectly before adding it to the salad, it really makes a difference, and I will talk about how to do that in the recipe instructions.
Szechuan Noodle Salad
- 6 ounces uncooked udon noodles or whole-wheat linguine
- 1/2 cup bottled Szechuan sauce
- 3 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 Tablespoon lower sodium soy sauce
- zest of one lime
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
- 1/2 cup matchstick-cut green onions
- 12 ounces broccoli florets
- toasted sesame oil
- salt to taste
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Cook noodles according to package directions, do not add any salt or oil. Drain and rinse with cold water and drain well.
- Whisk Szechuan sauce, peanut butter, hoisin, soy sauce, lime zest and juice and fish sauce until smooth. Set aside.
- Steam broccoli florets in a steamer basket, just until slightly tender. Plunge them into ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Remove them from water and drain well on paper towels, you don't want the excess water in your salad. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with toasted sesame oil, and salt to taste. You don't want the broccoli overly salty but you don't want it bland, trust me on this (more fresh lime juice would be good here too).
- In another large bowl, toss noodles, seasoned broccoli, carrots and green onion with sauce. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top. (I buy my seeds already toasted. If you need to toast yours, just place them in a dry, nonstick skillet over low heat. As they brown slightly, remove them from the heat.) Serve cold or room temperature.
- Serve salad cold or room temperature.
I could eat all of it myself.