A quick and spicy rice noodle salad

You know that feeling where you just can’t really be bothered? Don’t want to spend ages cooking, don’t want to go out, want something tasty to pick you up after a long and hard day? This is a dish for those desultory days. Those days full of meh.

It’s quick and pretty straight forward to make. It’s both soothing and peppy. It packs a flavourful punch and is also pretty damn healthy. What more do you need? You might even, after eating this, feel all refreshed and ready to cook up a storm. If you hadn’t already eaten that is…

And, as with all good quick throw-it-all-together meals, it’s very flexible. The only thing you don’t want to change too much is the sauce. The spicy, nutty, pungent and powerful sauce. This sauce is perfect made in big batches and added to, well, pretty much anything. Anything that’s not too delicate that is. Because subtle it ain’t.

So, in the spirit of keeping things short and sweet, and quick and easy. Here’s the recipe.

Cool and spicy pork and rice noodle salad
Feeds two, but scales well

The sauce I took from Fuschia Dunlop’s Sichuan Cookery, and the rest I just threw together from what I had in the fridge. You could easily use wheat or udon noodles (the latter work particularly well). Hell, you could add the sauce to spaghetti, potatoes or rice and it would be great.

Try slicing some cabbage and red onions super fine instead of carrots, cucumber and pring onions, anything that is cool and crunchy will work. Add a few fresh herbs – coriander or mint. You get the idea.

A handful of leftover meat – sliced into slivers
About 200g fresh rice noodles
A small knobbly cucumber – peeled and chopped into matchsticks
A carrot – peeled and chopped into matchsticks
2 spring onions finely sliced
A few raw peanuts – all broken up

The Sauce
2 tblsp sesame paste (I use tahini) thinned with 1 tblsp water
One and a half tblsp dark soy sauce
Half tblsp light soy
One and a half tblsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar
1 tblsp white sugar
2 cloves crushed garlic
Half tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
3 tblsp chilli oil with sediment
1 tblsp sesame oil

Mix together the sauce in a cup. Cook the noodles by putting them in a sieve and lowering it into hot water (try to keep it at a simmer, not a boil) for a minute or two. Run under the cold tap to stop them cooking.

Put the noodles, carrot and cucumber in bowls, scatter the meat on top. Spoon over the sauce, then sprinkle on the spring onions and crumbled nuts. Sit back, eat and enjoy.

8 Responses to “A quick and spicy rice noodle salad”

  1. Su-Lin

    I needed a recipe like this! Mmm…. spicy noodles. Will have to try it soon.

  2. The Grubworm

    @meemalee – the salad days are upon us at last – those long sweet, slightly chilly evenings. Glad you like it!

    @CosILickMyPlate – Thanks! This sort of spicy baby is exactly what I need when I’m on a meh day

    @Su-Lin – glad to be of service!

  3. Mr Noodles

    This sauce would go well with many a noodle! Dare I say even pasta, if you don’t have any Asian noodles to hand.

  4. Lizzie

    I looks delicious; crunchy and refreshing. Don’t the noodles stick together though?

  5. The Grubworm

    @Mr Noodles – this is truye, it’s very much a sauce-of-all-trades (but master of noodles… ;P)

    @Lizzie – I really like the combo of spicy hit with crunchy fresh cooling veg. Leaves a lovely taste (and feel) in the mouth.

    Re the noodles, I don’t know if it’s because I used fresh rices ones (they seemed a little oily), the refreshing under a cold running tap or I was just lucky, but they didn’t stick. I only cooked them for about a minute, and the oil in the sauce undoubtedly helped.

  6. Hungry Female

    That looks good for a “meh” day! I love the refreshing cucumbers with spicy chilli and peppercorns, very yin and yang:-)

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