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by on January 9th, 2014

Peanut Noodle Salad

The party’s over but I will make this salad again.

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Last weekend we hosted a going away party for friends who are moving to China for three years. It was a fun party to prepare for because I decided “East Meets West” would be the theme of the party; some Texas style foods on one side of the table and Chinese (Asian style) foods on the other and they met in the middle with my husband’s pulled pork on mini rolls with an Asian slaw topping.

Hope you enjoy the pictures below as much as I had preparing for the party. I found a cool piece of purple brocade with butterflies at Jo Ann Fabrics that was marked 50% off so I got three yards for $15. I didn’t bother even hemming it since I just bunched it up on the table around the platters. I had these Asian lanterns left from my daughter’s wedding and they worked perfect for the table top and I bought these large paper parasols to put out front along the walkway.

I’ve been hoarding about 150 little Chinese takeout cartons for several months trying to come up with a way to use them. For my daughter’s wedding a couple of years ago we had them with Truffled Parmesan French Fries and they made such a cute container for foods to snack on I decided to order some for myself. So, this Peanut Noodle Salad was taking up residence in these cartons with some beautiful chopsticks I ordered with some forks on the side for those not adventurous enough to use the chopsticks.

This salad was a perfect appetizer because I made it in advance and was just one thing that didn’t get fiddled with at the last minute. I decided to only fill the cartons half full since we had so many other things on the menu.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: This was the very first recipe I posted back in June of 2009.  Mandarin Orange Napoleon and it was so good. I must make that again sometime for a party.

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So here’s the menu from the party:

Peanut Noodle salad
Asian Meatballs
Honey Pecan Stuffed Snow Peas
Asian Tostada (wonton crisp, with salmon, edamame hummus, sweet soy glaze)
Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Pulled Pork Sliders with Asian Slaw
Hot Spinach Dip with Herbed Pita Chips
Parmesan Bacon Wraps
Zucchini and Corn Quesadillas
Jalapeño Cocktail Pie Squares
Wine/Chinese and Texas Beer
Mango/Peach/GingeraleCocktail(non-alcoholic)
Chow Mein Candy/Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Fortune Cookies
Cheesecake Dreams with Mandarin Orange GarnisbhPeanut Noodle Salad

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Most of the ingredients for the dressing.

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Chop up your cilantro. I always forget about this little chopping tool. It has four blades so it’s like chopping with four knives at once.

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I cooked the linguine and the Chinese egg noodles separately since they have different cooking times and then tossed them together with a little sesame oil.

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I used a channel knife and cut a grove down the side of the cucumber. Makes a cute design.

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I bought the carrots already julienned and then gave them a few chops.

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Sorry for the blurred picture. I had a lot of food to cook the day I made the salad.

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Mix in all your vegetables and the dressing.

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(I used recipes from Saveur “Cold Sesame Noodles” and Food.Com “Sesame and Peanut Noodles”)

Peanut Noodle Salad

1 lb. Chinese egg noodles (I used half egg noodles and half linguine)
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. chili-garlic paste, (Sambal Oelek)
1/4 c. sesame oil (divided)
zest of one lime and juice
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4-6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, halved and sliced very thin*
1 carrot, peeled and julienned (or buy julienned pieces in bag)
1 red bell pepper cut into very thin strips
Chopped peanuts to garnish
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. crushed red pepper, optional for more heat

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the egg noodles (or linguine or if doing both cook linguine first then egg noodles). Cook according to each package directions.  Reserve about one cup pasta cooking water. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water and drain again. Transfer to a bowl and add 3 tablespoons sesame oil; toss until evenly coated and set aside.

In a small skillet toast the sesame seeds until slightly browned. Set aside.

For the dressing place the peanut butter in a large measuring cup and microwave until soften, 15 seconds. Whisk in the soy sauce, vinegar, canola oil, ginger, honey, chili garlic paste (or Sriracha), remaining sesame oil, lime zest and juice.

To mix the salad, place the pasta in a large mixing bowl and add the cilantro, sesame seeds, cucumber, carrot, green onions, and red bell pepper. Toss until well mixed. Garnish with chopped peanuts.

*I waited and added the cucumbers right before serving so it would not get too limp.

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I called this an Asian Tostada. I used a wonton chip, edamame hummus, smoked salmon (hub did), sweet soy glaze with some black and white sesame seeds.

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I bought fortune cookies and then dipped them in chocolate and sprinkles.

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Blurry and I had not had any wine at this point.

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