Recently the cover of Bon Appetit donned a picture of spicy Sriracha chicken kebabs. They looked delicious, and I knew I wanted to make them.
The recipe was pretty straightforward, and they turned out perfectly. The question was, what to make with them? I love a good Asian noodle salad, but the last one I made was only okay, not particularly worthy of making again, so I really wanted a side dish that would complement these spicy kebabs.
A simple salad with an Asian vinaigrette would do fine, but I really wanted something more satisfying, so I decided on an Asian noodle salad with a sesame/ginger sauce and lots of veggies.
I love how this salad came out. It was full of veggies, and I even used whole wheat noodles to make it healthier. You could do the same thing with soba noodles, too.
The great thing about this dish is that you can really use the veggies that you like. I wanted something colorful, so I used purple cabbage, multicolor peppers and green edamame. I also wanted the salad to be veggie-heavy, so I added a lot of extra veggies, and the noodle-to-veggie ratio was heavy on the veggie side.
The dressing is great and very versatile. It is great on this salad but would work as a simple dressing for spinach, too. I go heavy on the garlic and ginger, so feel free to add extra if you like. I also put a splash of extra Sriracha on top of the noodles, but if you are hesitant on spice you can leave it out altogether.
This side dish is perfect to bring to a summer barbecue as it is best served at room temperature. It is good the next day but crisper if eaten within five hours. I loved it with the grilled chicken, but it would be nice with pork or Korean-style ribs.
If you need to make the day before, wait to dress and toss it until a hour or so before you are ready to serve.
Remember, you can add different vegetables for this, and as many as you want. Some variations not included below are: julienned carrots, cucumbers, thinly chopped celery, or even sliced zucchini or yellow squash. If you prefer basil to cilantro, use basil instead.
Recipe: Asian Noodle Salad
- For the Salad
- 1 package (16 oz.) whole wheat linguine noodles, cooked and rinsed in cold water
- 1/2 head thinly sliced purple cabbage, sliced thinly on a mandolin if you have one
- 1 red, orange and yellow pepper julienned
- 3 carrots, shredded
- 1 bunch cilantro, cilantro
- 3 whole scallions, sliced
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 2 cups shelled edamame beans
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- For the Dressing
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar – unseasoned, but if seasoned (which means it has sugar), then reduce the sugar below by half
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ cup sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- Toss the noodles with most of the vegetables. For example, sometimes I don’t use the whole head of cabbage until I see what the mixture looks like. So toss everything with about half of the cabbage, and investigate the ratio of vegetables to noodles. You can adjust and add more cabbage and carrots until you get it to where you like the way it looks.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together, and pour some over salad. Toss the salad with the dressing, and see if you like the amount of dressing on the salad. If you need, add more it until you get enough dressing on the salad for your taste. Refrigerate until serving.
- Add a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds to the top when you are ready to serve.