Oriental noodles have climbed their way to the list of the top 10, fastest-growing supermarket products. They’re cheap, faster to cook than traditional noodles, and each comes with a unique taste. So we’ve used them to create oodles of cold salads to beat the summer heat!
First published in Chatelaine’s August 1996 issue.
©Rogers Media Publishing Inc.
Smoked salmon and noodles
Prepare 1/2 (250-g) package rice vermicelli noodles according to package directions. Drain well. Whisk 2 tbsp rice vinegar with 1 tsp vegetable oil and 1 tsp sesame oil. Stir into noodles along with 2 tsp grated fresh or bottled ginger, 1/2 cup (2 oz/55 g) smoked salmon cut into julienned strips, 2 thinly sliced green onions and 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander. Makes 4 cups
Cook 1/2 (1-lb/454-g) package soba noodles. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Whisk 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1/4 tsp salt. Toss with noodles and stir in 1 sweet red pepper, 1 carrot and 15 snow peas, all cut into julienned strips. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and snipped chives. Makes 4 cups
Creamy chicken and ramen
Stir 1/4 cup buttermilk with 2 tbsp light mayonnaise, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1/4 tsp salt and a pinch of cayenne. Stir in a 3-oz (85-g) package cooked and drained instant ramen noodles. (Save flavor packet for another use.) Toss with 2 cups thin cooked chicken strips, 1 cup very thinly sliced cabbage and 1 sliced green onion. Makes 31/2 cups
Peanutty Shanghai noodles
Rinse a 400-g package Shanghai or miki noodles according to package directions. Drain. Stir 1/2 cup peanut sauce with 1 tbsp white-wine vinegar and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir with noodles until well coated. Then, add 1 large grated carrot, 2 cups julienned zucchini or shredded spinach leaves. For a main course, stir in 1 to 2 cups shredded cooked chicken or pork. Makes 5 cups
Lemon and mushroom chow mein
Rinse a 350-g package fresh chow mein noodles according to package directions. Drain. Whisk 2 tbsp olive oil with 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Stir in noodles, 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms, 2 cups thinly sliced celery and 1/4 cup snipped chives or sliced green onions. Makes 8 cups
Oriental noodles primer
Perfect for dine ‘n’ dash nights, Asian noodles differ significantly from Italian pastas–some just need a quick soak in hot water. Plus, they’re made with everything from buckwheat to beans, not just durhum wheat. Look for these in the supermarket’s fresh-produce or Oriental-food sections:
- Chow mein
Thin, fresh wheat noodles, sometimes called steamed noodles, are often sautéed, then used in stir-fries. Also sold deep-fried as a snack or stir-fry topping.
- Miki or Shanghai
Yellow, thick wheat noodles used in stir-fries or broth.
Thick wheat-and-egg noodles, often used in instant soups. However, inexpensive soup packages often don’t include eggs in their ramen noodle
Distinctive-tasting white noodles from vermicelli to wide flat noodles, used in salads and stir-fries such as Pad Thai.
Tan-colored buckwheat noodles, usually served in steaming broth and cold salads.