Thursday, June 14, 2012

cold noodle and tomato salad for the weekend



This here little bowl of lip smacking fun; an utter summer jumble of crunchy textures and fresh, bright flavours rather than a hot pot of msg enhanced amusement might be a box tick should the weather be right, and the time does much the same this weekend. That is unless someone else is bringing this together for you, and you're in exotic climes already. Cold noodles sadly don't get nearly the attention they deserve, more often than not due to weak seasoning. What's not to disagree with big punchy hits of acid, salt and sugar?

My eyes are shut, I'm in Chiang Mai, that's my fourth Tiger right there, I can hear the tac tac of pestle to mortar bringing my salad together, I'm in dreamland.

Serves 4

60g rice noodles
a large handful sprouted seeds
1 medium hot red chilli
1 red or orange pepper
 ½ cucumber
100g peas , shelled weight
125g cherry tomatoes
100g salted, roasted cashews
a small bunch coriander
4 sprigs mint

For the dressing:
3 tblsp lime juice
3 tblsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 tsp caster sugar 

Put the noodles into a heatproof bowl then pour boiling water from the kettle over them and leave for 2 minutes (or whatever it says on the packet). Drain the noodles and let them cool in a colander under cold running water. Drain thoroughly.

Rinse the sprouted seeds under cold running water, drain them, then tip into a mixing bowl. Finely chop the chilli and thinly slice the pepper then add them to the sprouted seeds. Peel, core and cut the cucumber into small dice, then add to the seeds with the raw peas. 

Halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to the bowl with the salted cashews and roughly chopped coriander and mint leaves, gently tossing the ingredients together with the drained noodles.

Make the dressing: mix together the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Drain the noodles and add them to the other ingredients, then toss them with the dressing. Chill for a good half-hour before serving with the coldest beer your teeth can cope with.