Asian Noodle Salad With Peanut Dressing
Makes 4 servings
Unlike Italian pastas that are defined by their shape, Asian noodles are named according to their primary ingredient, which may be wheat, rice, or beans. The Asian wheat-flour noodles for this recipe come be in long, straight strands (Chinese noodles), or they may be curly and tightly packed in a block (Japanese noodles). You'll find them with the Asian foods in most supermarkets or in Asian markets. Watch closely as the noodles cook. Because they're thin, they'll be done very quickly.
Riesling, which pairs well for drinking with Asian dishes, also is the best choice for making the peanut sauce in this dish.
For the dressing
¼ cup Riesling or other medium-bodied, high-acid, semi-sweet white wine
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted (Asian) sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
? teaspoon red-pepper flakes
For the salad
6 ounces thin Asian wheat-flour noodles
12 snow peas, strings removed, blanched and halved lengthwise
½ cup sliced white mushrooms
½ red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch x ¼-inch strips
2 scallions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 carrot, coarsely shredded
Mandarin orange segments and black sesame seeds or toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat.
To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
To make the salad, cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Add the dressing to the hot noodles and toss. Let stand until completely cool.
Toss in the remaining ingredients, except the garnish. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish the servings with orange segments and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
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