Saturday, August 11, 2012

Asian-style peanut noodle salad

After my workout this morning, I was feeling quite hungry and wanted to make something filling. We had a little bit of peanut butter left in the jar and I decided it'd be good to use it all up!

To make these noodles, I used Japanese konnyaku/shirataki noodles. They are made from the natural plant fibres of konjac yam plant and have close to zero calories and carbs! That's right, you heard me, ALMOST ZERO! So fantastic for those of you who want to diet yet still want meals that will fill you up. Check out the nutritional information below!

What you will notice about these noodles when you open them up is the pungent fishy smell of the solution they use to soak the noodles in (otherwise the noodles will disintegrate as they are made from natural plant fibres) so I would really recommend really rinsing these noodles out for a few minutes at least until that smell is gone or else you WILL taste it in your dish! I also let it sit in boiling water after I rinsed it to warm up the noodles and also to ensure that smell is no longer there. These noodles on their own however don't have much of a taste so it's great for using to soak up the flavours of the sauce that you will use. I really enjoy the chewy texture of these noodles as well! Personally, I absolutely love these noodles!

This recipe really is quite flexible and you can add any vegetables or meat that you like! I love the wonderful colours that sit so prettily in the bowl and makes it quite reminiscent of the Korean rice dish bibimbap. It is also really quick to prepare so who's hungry?

Asian-style peanut noodle salad
An original recipe by Crystal Noir

Dressing sauce for the vegetables
2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
Chilli oil to taste (depending on how spicy you want it!)

Peanut sauce for the noodles
1 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Chilli oil to taste

Tuna and noodle salad
1 can tuna (I used springwater and can easily be subbed for mushrooms or edamame beans for you vegetarians/vegans out there! Personally though, I think some pieces of marinated chicken would taste better than tuna.)
100 grams noodles of choice
Cucumber, cut into a thin julienne
Carrots, cut into a thin julienne
Spring onion/scallions, chopped
Roasted peanuts, chopped

Make the dipping sauce
Whisk ingredients in a small serving bowl, making sure to dissolve the sugar. Pour equal amounts into the carrots and cucumber and let it pickle slightly for at least 15 minutes.

Make the peanut dressing
In a blender or small food processor, puree all ingredients to a smooth sauce, about the thickness of heavy cream. Pour into a serving bowl. OR you could just do what I did which was mix it all in the jar that the peanut butter came in until all incorporated!

For the noodles
Rinse under a running tap for a few minutes in a colander and then drain. Move the noodles into a separate bowl and cover with boiling water, letting it sit for about 5 minutes or so.

To serve
If you make this in larger amounts, you could just put all the vegetables in separate bowls and let everyone choose and decorate their own portion. If you're making it yourself, toss the noodles with the peanut sauce until well incorporated (don't be shy about adding a bit of extra water to help it mix better).

Add the vegetables and tuna on top of each bowl and scatter with chopped peanuts and spring onion. Serve!

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