I was entranced by the description and pictures of this gorgeous chilled Szechuan peanut noodle salad at Passionate Eater. I adore peanut flavoured noodly things, and this versatile salad looked like the perfect thing for easily portable weekday lunches. And it’s delicious – a lovely savoury/sweet peanut flavour, the crunchiness of the grated carrot and other raw vegetables contrasting beautifully with the soft rice noodles. A perfect picnic salad, it’s also quite lovely eaten warm.
I had plenty of sauce left over, due to a little misreading of the ingredients in which I accidentally doubled the recipe. Woops! But now I have a little container of sauce so that I can easily whip up another bowlful next weekend, with some different vegetables for variety.
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of honey or 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 – 1 & 1/4 cup of commercial crunchy peanut butter
about 500g of noodles (the original suggested dried wheat noodles – I wasn’t sure what they were, so used clear rice noodles, which worked very well)
3 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic (the original includes a whole bulb – I am not so brave)
a mixture of chopped raw vegetables, including several spring onions, 4 grated carrots, thinly sliced red capsicum, chopped cucumber, etc.
Put the noodles in a saucepan to boil while you are making the sauce. Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey or sugar and peanut butter in a largish bowl, to allow for plenty of sloshing – I just whisked with a fork until it was nicely combined. It should be fairly thick and creamy. The noodles should be soft now – take them off the stove, and strain.
Put the noodles in a large bowl, and pour over sesame oil and finely chopped garlic – stir until combined. Mix the sauce through (or as much of the sauce as you like), until it’s all well combined. Add your chopped vegetables, and you can be as crazy as you like here – I used fresh corn, grated carrots, and slivers of red capsicum. Other nice additions would be bean sprouts, snow peas, cucumber, slices of boiled egg – endless possibilities, really.
Mix the vegetables through well with a pair of tongs, and serve either warm or cold, perhaps with some of the vegetables scattered on top.