Oh boy have I got a good one for you today.
I don’t know what’s got into the weather in London but this sunshine and blue sky situation is utterly glorious. I really really hope it’s going to stick around!
Now, whenever the weather’s warm, I immediately want to eat lighter dishes. It’s far too hot for soups and stews, and instead I find myself reaching into my arsenal of summery salad recipes (like this one, this one, or this one).
Which is exactly what happened yesterday. We did our weekly food shop, we stocked up on lots of fresh veggies, and then I started throwing things together in the kitchen until I came up with this:
Crunchy colorful vegetables, soft egg noodles, sesame seeds, and finished off with a zingy, Japanese-inspired, soy sauce and sesame oil dressing.
It’s fresh and light and sharp and colorful and I already know I’m going to be making it over and over again this summer.
The added beauty of this recipe is that it keeps REALLY well in the fridge (I mean, duh. It’s a cold noodle salad). But I just had some of the leftovers for my lunch today, and it’s even tastier after a day of marinating.
Just make up a huge batch of this on an evening, leave it to sit in the fridge over night, then portion it out and you’re all set for a cheap and delicious summer lunch.
It’s also super easy to adapt. Make it vegan by replacing the egg noodles for rice noodles. Add some courgette, broccoli or mushrooms. Don’t have lime juice? Lemon juice or rice vinegar would also work.
The sesame seeds add a nice bit of texture, and I was really excited to finally use the fancy ones I bought at the food market in Kyoto. They’ve got bonito (fish flakes) mixed in with the seeds, which give it a whole new layer of umami flavour. If you wanted to recreate that flavour for yourself, try whisking a couple of drops of fish oil into your dressing.
A quick and easy cold noodle salad made with bell peppers, cucumber and carrots. This colorful salad is drizzled with a zingy Japanese-inspired sesame dressing, which makes it perfect for warm summer suppers, barbecues, picnics and packed lunches.
- 3 nests of dry noodles (I used Sainsbury's medium egg chilli noodles)
- 1/2 large cucumber
- 2 red peppers
- 2 medium carrots
- 4 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger OR a finger tip's worth of fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
Put a big pan of water on the heat, and add a big pinch of salt. Once it's boiling, add the noodles to the water and cook according to the instructions on the pack. Mine only needed 5 minutes, but if you're using thicker noodles this may take longer.
Once the noodles are cooked, pour away the hot water, and immediately rinse them in cold water from the tap. This will stop the cooking process, so they don't go mushy. Drain the noodles thoroughly, then pop them into the salad bowl, with 1 tbsp of the sesame oil to stop them sticking.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Cut the peppers in half, remove the core and the seeds, and slice finely. Slice the cucumber lengthways into long thin ribbons, then slice the ribbons into smaller matchsticks. Peel the carrots, and slice them thinly into matchsticks OR use a spiralizer (I use this super cheap one) to cut them into ribbons.
Add all your veg to the salad bowl with 3 tbsp of the sesame seeds and mix it all in together.
Prepare your salad dressing in a small bowl: 3 tbsp of sesame oil, the soy sauce, lime juice, and ginger. Use a fork to whisk it all up until it's thoroughly mixed in and the ground ginger (if you're using it) has dissolved. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until everything is coated.
Serve chilled, with the final tablespoon of sesame seeds sprinkled over the top.
*You'll need a sauce pan and a big salad bowl
PIN IT FOR LATER!