Asian noodle salad

I am a total noodle addict! I especially love noodle salads in the summer. Noodles by themselves are pretty bland, but they can easily be livened up and brought to life with some crunchy veg, a sprinkle of nuts and herbs and a zesty dressing with a kick to it. I have used broccoli as the main star here, but any veg you have to hand would work. Carrots, asparagus, courgettes and sweetcorn work very well. 

Tofu:

  • 1 pack smoked organic tofu

  • 1 tbs tamari

  • 1 tbs mirin or white wine vinegar

  • 1 ts toasted sesame oil

  • 1tbs raw honey or agave 

  • Coconut oil for cooking

Noodle salad:

  • 1 pack rice noodles

  • I head broccoli, washed well and cut into florets, discard the stalk or keep to add to soups or stir fries

  • 1 handful frozen edamame beans

  • 1 handful green beans, washed, trimmed and sliced in half

  • 3 tbs red peanuts in their skins

  • 3 spring onions finely sliced

  • 1 tbs chopped chives

  • 1 tbs chopped fresh mint

  • 1 tbd chopped fresh coriander

Dressing:

  • 2 tbs light tahini

  • 4 tbs filtered water

  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1 small bird's eye red chilli, finely chopped

  • zest and juice of 1 lime

  • salt and pepper

Ingredients (serves 4 as a light meal or appetiser)

Method

First combine all the dressing ingredients by placing in a bowl and whisking well with a fork. This will take awhile as the tahini will appear not to mix with the water at first, but keep at it and it turns into a creamy dressing. Alternatively all the ingredients can be blended if you have one. Set aside while you make the salad. This dressing can be kept in the fridge in a jar for up to 3 days.

 

Slice the tofu block into thick slices. Place in a bowl and marinate with the tamari, mirin, sesame oil and honey. Season well. Leave to marinate while you prepare the noodles and veg. The salad is served cold, with the warm tofu sitting on top.

Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the noodles and cook for the time advised on the packet. 
While the noodles are cooking, place the broccoli, grean beans and edamame in a pan of boiling water and gently cook for 5 minutes, till softened but still with a bite.

While the noodles and veg are cooking heat a large frying pan at a high heat with 1 tbs of coconut oil. Add the tofu slices, reserving the marinade. Cook on both sides till crsipy and golden. Then add the marinade for the last minute.

Remove and drain the veg and noodles when they are ready. Refresh with cold water. Place the noodles in a large serving bowl and drizzle with some sesame oil and mix with your hands to prevent them sticking together. Then add the next layer of the green veg and then the tofu on top.

Keep the tofu pan on the heat and throw the peanuts in. Stir for 5 minutes to heat the nuts until they release a lovely earthy aroma.

Sprinkle the peanuts over the salad. To finish add the spring onions, herbs and a generous drizzle of the dressing. Enjoy!