I've been packing heat in my lunchbox all winter, as in hot entrees, chili and soups. Now, I'm ready to head into spring with something lighter, such as this sweet and spicy Asian noodle salad.
I used standard linguine pasta , but you can use Asian egg or rice noodles. Although the recipe calls for making carrot ribbons with a vegetable peeler, you can skip the step and buy a package of shredded carrots .
The sauce requires just two ingredients: Hoisin sauce and chili paste or Sriracha sauce. We keep a bottle of Sriracha sauce in the refrigerator most of the time. It is a sauce that adds heat, but not too much. Chili paste comes in jars and can be found in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets. If you don't want to purchase the paste or the sauce, substitute your favorite hot sauce. Add it according to taste.
Shredded cabbage or broccoli slaw would boost the vegetable content and fiber, and you could add shredded, cooked chicken or steamed shrimp.
Sprinkle the salad with chopped, roasted peanuts just before serving.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Noodles
8 ounces Asian egg or rice noodles
2 medium carrots
6 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste or Sriracha
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped
Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Peel the carrots and use a vegetable peeler to make long, thin strips of carrot. Toss the noodles, scallions, carrots, cilantro and jalapeño, if desired, in a mixing bowl.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl and toss with the noodles. Put onto a platter and sprinkle with peanuts. Or, divide the noodles among plastic containers, sprinkle each serving with peanuts, seal and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 4 servings.